The Holy Spirit, Love Guiding Us to Love

From chapter 3.

The Holy Spirit window at Saint Peter's Basilica.

God our Father, who sent his Son into the world to save us, has poured forth his Spirit to enlighten and guide us on the path that leads to him….

The love that the Holy Spirit infuses into our hearts—the love for which we have been created and in which we find happiness—fosters an authentic way of loving. It leads not to a superficial, passing sentiment, but to a generous self-giving shown in deeds. This is the core of Christian life, as John Paul II frequently reminds us, citing a well-known text from Vatican II: “Man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself.”

God gave himself for us and wants us to give ourselves to him. He addresses to each of us the words that St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “For I seek not what is yours but you.” Or as St. Josemaría put it: “Jesus is never satisfied with ‘sharing.’ He wants all.” This ideal may be unsettling at first. But if we keep in mind that the same God who asks our self-giving makes it possible with his gifts, with the gift of Himself, we will realize that converting our life into a pleasing offering to God is truly within our reach.

The grace granted to us with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit enables us to love God without restriction, with a love that is a sharing in the love of God the Father, who has loved us to the point of sending his Son into the world to become man and shed his blood for us.

When a person, moved by the Holy Spirit, makes his entire life a response to the demands of love, the things God may ask of him are no longer seen as renunciations and sacrifices, but as opportunities to find God and unite himself more closely to him. Christian maturity is attained precisely through the victory of love, which overcomes fear and selfishness….

But in the spiritual life, as in everything, victory is not attained without a struggle, and this struggle will last one’s entire life. We are attached to ourselves and short-sighted, and often let ourselves be blinded by a momentary pleasure or the affirmation of our ego, instead of opening our heart to the greatness of God’s loving plans. On this journey of our spiritual growth, the Holy Spirit is always urging us forward. The only thing necessary is to be docile to his inspirations.