As a middle child, when I was younger I frequently liked to claim “middle child syndrome” in that I was being overlooked for not being the oldest nor the youngest. As much as that wasn’t true (my younger brother is the true middle child as the 3rd of 5), I often feel the Holy Spirit gets a bit of “middle child” treatment in our world today. The Spirit isn’t the first (the Creator), so He isn’t getting much recognition for being the One who created and orders the world. Although Jesus isn’t known for creating and ordering the world either, Jesus was the one who got to appear in a physical form on the earth. We know Jesus intimately as one of our own, seeing as how Jesus took on our appearance. The Spirit, however, is left in the dust. Well perhaps left in the wind (or water, or fire) to be more specific. In this way, the Spirit is treated like that middle child – remembered as part of the whole of the family but oft forgotten as an individual. Well, the time has come again for the Spirit to step to the forefront. The election of a new pope is wrought with the Holy Spirit! Just as the prophets were inspired to speak God’s will through the power of the Holy Spirit, so will the conclave of Cardinals be inspired by the Spirit in voting on the next leader of our Church.
And, who is this Holy Spirit? The Catechism teaches that the Holy Spirit is that which puts us in touch with Christ. As we know, the Holy Spirit was, in essence, Jesus’ “parting” (it’s not like he’s actually gone anywhere) gift to the apostles. Jesus told them it was through the Holy Spirit that they would be able heal the sick and proclaim the good news. The Spirit is the action of God – it is thanks to the Holy Spirit that we don’t just throw our hands in the air and give up because of the challenges we face in our culture today.
So, here’s to you, Holy Spirit. May you be with the conclave as they select our next pope. And, may you also be with us in our daily lives. As we are challenged to love and serve God, may we call out “Come, Holy Spirit” and invite you in to our hearts to do God’s will.
-submitted by SPO Development Coordinator, Sarah Deak