Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you…” Also, Jesus said that anything that you ask in my name I will give you and ask so that your joy will be complete.

What then should we ask of the Lord, especially because goodness, generosity, magnanimity, overflowing bounty, is His the essence of His nature?

Many ask and do not receive because the petition will not result in glorifying God, in one’s own sanctification, nor in the sanctification of others. As a good Father, God can say “No” if in His Divine Providence, He foresees that granting that request could be spiritually harmful to the soul.

However, there is a “Gift” that we can beg from the Lord and this “Gift of Gifts” Jesus is always willing to give to us if we are open to receiving it. This “Gift” is the Holy Spirit. 

How important prayer really is! Listen to the words of the great Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori: “All the adults who are in Heaven are there because they prayed; had they not prayed, they never would have reached heaven. All who are in Hell are there because they neglected prayer; had they prayed, they would not be in Hell but in Heaven. Two criminals died, one on each side of Jesus; one of them prayed and was saved; the other did not pray and was lost.”

That first Easter Sunday night, Jesus walked through the walls of the Upper room—the Cenacle, where the Apostles were hiding in fear.  He greeted them, “Shalom!” Peace be with you.  Then Jesus breathed on them, the “Gift of Gifts, the Holy Spirit, expressing these words:  “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they will be forgiven, whose sins you retain, they shall be retained”  (Jn. 20:21-23).

When King David was anointed by the prophet Samuel, the Sacred Text states that from that moment on the Holy Spirit rushed on David.   Let us pray fervently that the Holy Spirit would rush on us.  May the Holy Spirit purify our memories of past sins; may the Holy Spirit enlighten our minds with the truth; may the Holy Spirit ignite our hearts with the fire of Divine love.

After a nine day intense period of prayer--- the first novena in the Catholic Church---  a spiritual bomb exploded in that upper room!  The Apostles and Mary, the mother of Jesus, had been praying and fasting for nine days.  How important prayer is to attain the Gift of Gifts, the Holy Spirit.

A strong wind, a shaking of the house and the descent of fire.  Tongues of fire actually descended upon the Apostles and Mary.

Men, who just a few days earlier, had given into fears, running away from Jesus, abandoning Jesus, and even denying Jesus three times, were totally transformed.  Thorns transform into roses; coal into a beautiful diamond, clouds and storm subside and the beautiful rainbow paints the sky. Even an ugly worm can grow wings and fly, transformed into butterfly.

More important, poor sinners can be transformed into great saints, if they allow for the divine invasion of the Holy Spirit.  Blessed Pope John XXIII stated that the saints are the masterpiece of the Holy Spirit.

These Apostles were hence catapulted to the four corners of the globe to preach the word of God in obedience to Jesus whose last words were: “Go out to all nations, teaching them all that I taught you and baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Behold, I will be with you always even until the end of the world!” (Mt. 28: 18-20)

Being crucified upside down, crucified in the form of an  X and hanging on the cross for days, decapitation, and even one of them being flayed alive and final beheaded. Guess who the last was?   All of these were the fearful, cowardly men that first Holy Thursday night, who allowed the “Gift of Gifts”, the Holy Spirit, to enter their minds, hearts and transform their total lives!

The same Peter who denied Jesus three times, Holy Thursday after the Last Supper, after Pentecost and the descent of the Holy Spirit, launches a sermon and the net result was the conversion of  3,000 souls to Christ!  The Holy Spirit’s power and ability to transform is limited only to our lack of faith and trust in the power of God.

On one occasion Cardinal Suenens was preaching in an outdoor Mass at a renowned university.  The day was overcast, drizzling and the Mass in danger of being rained out.   His eminence lifted his voice and preached loudly and clearly:  “Do you want to know the true secret of union with the Holy Spirit?” Silence!  The Cardinal continued: “The secret of deep union with the Holy Spirit is love and devotion to Mary!” Immediately a loud clap of thunder could be heard, followed by lightning and then miraculously, the clouds disappeared and the sun broke through the sky, as if to smile on the Cardinal and all who were listening.

The great Marian Saint, Louis de Montfort, expressed it succinctly:  “Those who love Mary, the Holy Spirit, flings Himself into their souls.”

Mary is the Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of God the Son and she is the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, let us ask for the “Gift of Gifts”, the greatest of Gifts, the Holy Spirit!  Come Holy Spirit, come, through the Heart of Mary!

Related videos:

Names for the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity
The Holy Spirit and Baptism
Losing the Holy Spirit
Restoration of the Holy Spirit