St. Paul spends much of the eighth chapter of his Letter to the Romans teaching about the Holy Spirit. Yet for all of Paul’s words, the Holy Spirit can often be an afterthought in our daily lives.
What does the Spirit do? Paul says that the Spirit is our source of life (Romans 8:11, 13). He says that the Spirit lives in us and shows us how to live for God (8:4-6, 9). He says that the Spirit reminds us that we are God’s children (8:16). Best of all, he says that the Holy Spirit “comes to the aid of our weakness” (8:26). We all have weaknesses, don’t we? One weakness we face is the way we respond to suffering or hardship. Temptation, sickness, addiction, division in families, financial problems, natural disaster—any of these challenges can leave us fearful and overwhelmed if we try to face them on our own. But with the help of the Spirit, we can start to see things from God’s perspective and find the strength we need to keep moving forward.
Another weakness can be our struggle with prayer. The Spirit loves to help us pray! He helps us speak to God from our hearts and not just through rote prayers. He gives us a desire to pray for our loved ones. And he gives us the reassurance that our prayers have been heard.
It’s easy to think that it’s “just us”—that we are doing it all by ourselves. But this is just not true. Every holy thought that we have and every loving action that we take have their origin in the Holy Spirit. Every day, in good times and bad, the Spirit is with us, teaching us to ask God for what we need and filling us with grace.
So when you find the strength to push onward in a trying time, a renewed desire to love people, or a new insight into how to solve a problem, rejoice! It’s the Holy Spirit coming to your aid.