May 11, 2020 701 Monica Schaefer

Living with a compass or a clock

I grew up in a very Catholic family in Texas, USA. My dad was a Youth Minister for about 20 years, so faith was incorporated into my life from my earliest childhood. Sadly, knowing the truth about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit ended up just being a lot of information about Him, and I still didn’t actually know Him. There was a missing link.

In High School, I started to look for a place to belong. Thinking that I would finally fit in if I had lots of friends, I joined a theatre group where I met lots of people. It felt great at first, but then I realized that I was becoming the person that they wanted me to be, not the person I wanted to be nor who God really wanted me to be.

When I was 14, I went on a retreat that became a turning point in my life. I finally met other children of my age, who were enthusiastic about faith. Although it was hours away from their homes, they all wanted to be there. Their joy was contagious. Because they showed love for me, I felt God’s love for me. I came to know who the Holy Spirit really is and how I can reflect His love to others. I picture the Holy Spirit as the one who keeps the flame of faith burning inside each one of us.

When I was confirmed at 15, I was really excited to learn how important the Holy Spirit is to the life of the Church. It felt like Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles, infusing them with His power and His gifts. The day after my Confirmation, I didn’t feel that same gripping excitement. However, I had come to understand that the Holy Spirit is still dwelling within, no matter how I feel. When I surrender to Him that allows Him to work His will in my life and the lives of those around me.

On another retreat, I learned more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. At first it was intimidating, but one night, while I was praising God with one of the prayer teams, I felt that the Holy Spirit wanted to speak through me. The song “Breathe into me O Holy Spirit” kept repeating through my mind. The others prayed over me, then a few minutes later I was given the gift of the tongues. That was the most beautiful thing that has happened in my life. At that moment, I just let the Holy Spirit say what I never could. I was like a candle lit by the flame of the Holy Spirit. It was incredible to realize how beautiful I could be when I surrendered to God and let Him act through me!

We don’t have to feel Him to be filled with Him. Something big doesn’t have to happen all the time. Jesus gave Him to the apostles to remember His words and deeds, so that they could know the love of the Father and courageously share that with the whole world. Initially, I had expected the Holy Spirit to be like a map, clearly showing the starting point and the destination, but I came to realize that He is more like a compass pointing me in the right direction. I still have to decide each day how (and whether) I will follow that guidance. He works through me whenever I choose to let His power into my heart.

Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your love and guide me along the right path. Give me the courage and strength to always act according to Your Holy inspiration. Amen.


Monica Schaefer

©Monica Schaefer is an active member of NET Ministries which challenges young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church. Monica gave this inspiring testimony while she was in Ireland to attend a training program by National Evangelization Teams (NET). Article is based on the talk by Monica for Shalom World TV program “My Best Pal”. To watch the episode visit: https:// shalomworld.org/show/my-best-pal.

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