Pentecost Sunday
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”  The heart and foundation of Ignatian Spirituality is simple.  It relies on the principle that God in his great love, desiring nothing more than to share himself, created us that we may have a share in his goodness, therefore enjoy his friendship and happiness for all eternity.  Finding God in all things becomes our life long goal. Once we find God and are in God’s presence, we can forget ourselves, our hurts, our pains, our past and current sufferings and truly be present to God who is presence himself.  When we are truly present to God and truly, with him without hesitation, reservation, fear or resistance we are in need of nothing more than what God has graciously offered us, the gift of his endless joy, the grace of perpetual peace and the profound healing that leads us and brings us reconciliation.  God graciously provides the true gifts we need, desire and long for more than honor, riches, wealth, titles, fortune and fame.   The gift and fruits of the Holy Spirit are most helpful for our journey.  They inspire and encourage us to live a life of blessedness, which is joyful, and not a life of unforgiveness, which is sorrowful.  Ignatius of Loyola informs us and invites us to consider there are two spirits that are always at work within us, as well as within the world, competing to get our attention. The good spirit, that is the Holy Spirit, gently draws us, attracts us and leads us to find God in all things, people and circumstances, therefore encountering joy, healing, love, hope, blessedness, faith. The Holy Spirit floods us in difficult situations and even floods us in joyful celebrations with his gifts of knowledge, wisdom, and counsel, helping us to better understand what is happening, shedding light on why people are yelling, so angry, overacting or hurting, so we can better respond in a way that is helpful, useful and not hurtful. The bad spirit, the Devil, forcefully distracts us and even spiritually snatches us away from God, causing us grief, sorrow, heartache, headaches and pain.  The enemy robs us of goodness and interior joy and then draws us to encounter darkness, turmoil, desolation, depression and negative emotions that cause us to want and pursue disordered desires that wound us.  The good spirit helps us to forgive and forget, giving us lasting joy and freedom.  The bad spirit makes us slaves of unforgiveness and there is no joy in that.

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