Greetings in Christ!
I am Father Roger Morgan, the pastor of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach, and it is a pleasure to be with you on the Faith Page. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share the Catholic faith, and I hope these contributions will be both informative and uplifting.
At times like these, the world could use a little uplift. Since the outbreak of coronavirus and the national lockdown, so much of what we hear every day is about sickness, economic recession, job loss, and conflict among politicians.
Of course, many of our fellow citizens have responded bravely and selflessly to this crisis, from doctors and nurses to teachers and grocery store workers and many more, and we should all be grateful for their work and sacrifice.
Their example is indeed uplifting. But still, many are concerned for their health and the health of their elderly or vulnerable family, their children who are out of school, and many are worried about their financial futures.
So, in a time of crisis and fear, how do we respond with courage? What gifts of grace do Christians possess to help them? In times of strife or trouble, the Christian should always remember the gift of God the Holy Spirit, promised by the Lord Jesus as an advocate and guide, a Spirit of Truth, indwelling in the heart of the faithful.
On Sunday, May 31, the Catholic Church celebrated Pentecost Sunday, when we recall the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples in the Upper Room 50 days after the Resurrection as tongues of fire: “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2: 1-4).
The descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples changes them, fills them with the courage to go out into the world and preach Christ crucified and risen from the dead, even though such preaching puts them in danger.
We who have been reborn in Christ also possess this same gift of the Spirit, and when we are led by the Spirit we will show forth the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
If we ever feel confused, doubtful, or fearful during this time of pandemic, or during any time of trial or season of doubt, we should pray that God will awaken us to the power of the Spirit that is ours in Christ Jesus. We should pray for a renewed experience of Pentecost!
Dear friends, we should never forget that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, experienced by the apostles as rushing wind and fire, was not an end but rather a beginning.
That outpouring of the Spirit never ceases, and we are all filled with this gift of the Spirit. So, if you are in doubt or fear, or if God seems distant and your prayers unanswered, then ask the Lord to renew your sense of the Spirit within you, so that you might be renewed in courage and purpose, and live in joyful hope while we await the Lord’s return.
A prayer to the Holy Spirit:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Father Roger Morgan, pastor at St. Andrew Catholic Church, 3501 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, can be reached at 843-448-5930.