Posted by: Thomas Richard | September 14, 2016

We Need the Holy Spirit!

“Lukewarm” is not a good word, in the Christian lexicon. It is not a good state of the human soul. The alternative – fervor, zeal and whole-hearted commitment – in the heart and soul of a Christian – ought to be the norm! Every Christian church ought to be on fire for Christ and the Gospel, and thus for the mission of the Church:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20)

There is not a lot of “Go” from many Catholic churches; even the going to search for the lost sheep – the former Catholics who have drifted away from the Faith – is not a big priority among many of our parishes and dioceses. So much of our activity and concern, in my experience, is directed within – within the parish and for the parishioners.  And sadly only little of that activity is focused on the great need among our adults for catechesis and growing in the life of prayer. We need renewal.

Vatican II called us to renewal, in so many ways! The universal call to holiness was proclaimed by the Church to the Church, in that Council, a call to remember who we are, and what we are to be about. We all, every one of us, have a vocation, a divine calling, to be light in this darkening world. We all have been entrusted with Bread from heaven, in a world hungry for that which finally satisfies. We all have been infused with a share in the divine and eternal life – the Holy Spirit – in a world stumbling toward death. How can we be so quiet?

The Holy Spirit is the great awakener of lukewarm and sleepy souls. We need the arousal of the Holy Spirit.

A New Article in HPR

An essay I wrote recently on this matter has just been published on-line, at the website of Homiletic & Pastoral Review, as an article titled The Church Needs the Holy Spirit!  I hope all my readers here will click on the title-link, and read the article. And as usual, I’d be grateful for your comments either here on the blog or added on the HPR site at the bottom of the article.

Finally, let me recommend to you the encyclical of Pope St. John Paul II on the Holy Spirit, which can be found on the Vatican website.  This document was the foundation of a “Novena” of nine presentations on the Holy Spirit which I presented recently in my home parish.  The title of the encyclical (and the link to it) is Dominum et vivificantem. It is lengthy! But it is worth the “price of admission,” in time.


  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thanks for your encouragement to seek ever more fervently the help of the Holy Spirit, and to share the Truth He brings us. Since the “Novena” of nine presentations on St. JPII’s Encyclical on the Holy Spirit, I’ve begun to read that Encyclical again, more slowly and prayerfully. What treasures God has given us! How much we have to share and yet, often do not.

    Come, Holy Spirit, fill us with the Fire of Your Love.
    Mary, Mother of the Church, pray with us and for us.

  2. Thanks Thomas for sharing this sad reality of our church. How sad God must be.

    “Come, Holy Spirit, fill us with the Fire of Your Love.
    Mary, Mother of the Church, pray with us and for us.” Amen

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