The Holy Spirit, Father of the Poor

One of the titles given to the Holy Spirit in the sequence for Pentecost is, “Father of the Poor,” and I think it is such a wonderful and heartfelt title for Him. Perhaps we have forgotten, but He is the Consoler and Comforter, Advocate and Paraclete. Therefore, it is so fitting that He is the father of the poor who have no one else to turn to except for God. Nonetheless, this poverty is not measured on the financial or human level alone, it os also on the spiritual and faith level as well. Poverty of heart is important and necessary, especially as believers, as we choose to embrace our nothingness and allow God to be our source of strength and everything. Therefore, the truly poor depends little on themselves but totally on the Almighty. They allow their littleness to become the springboard for their total dependency and childlike faith on the One who loves them.

The Holy Spirit is the love that unites the Father and the Son, but He is also the One that makes the Father and the Son distinctive from one another. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus Christ sent us His Spirit, He sent us the very love that unites and helps us see our uniqueness in God‘s own love. The Holy Spirit guides and leads us to the love that God has for us as well as love for one another. He fulfills in us what begun by the Lord Jesus Christ as well as our own personal path of holiness so we can live out the grace given to us at our Baptism. The Sanctifier helps us to transform ourselves as to live our vocation and dignity as sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father, disciples of Christ Jesus, and His very own instruments of peace.

Not only does the Holy Spirit sanctify and transform us with His grace, He also consoles us in our times of need. When we cannot put into words the pains, sufferings, trials, or hardships that we are going through when we pray, He opens our hearts to connect with God‘s own loving heart. When we lack or fail to pray because of our own worried or distracted heart, He is able to understand and interpret our heart’s deepest desires. He listens even when we fail to put into words how we are feeling. He understands our heart even when we cannot understand or comprehend what we are experiencing at the moment. He knows us and able to lift up our intentions, desires, and whatever we are going through when we come to Him in prayers.

He is the Father of the Poor, but not only for the financially poor, also the ones who spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, or naturally have little to nothing, hurt, broken, and have no one else to depend on but God. He is present to the broken-hearted as well as those who are tired. He understands the humble-hearted and childlike in faith who are going through the trials of life. The Father of the Poor consoles, comforts, advocates, and intercedes for us in ways that we ourselves cannot imagine at times.

As a priest, I often get “caught off guard,” unprepared, and helpless with many situations. As a human being, and especially as a man, I do not like it when I cannot help or “fix” the problem. I hate feeling helpless in situations that I know people are suffering, hurting, or desperately in need of help. Yet, I have had to endure many of them in my own priestly ministry, and they are all sober reminders that I cannot solve everyone’s problems. Therefore, I have learned to pray for the person when a he or she comes for help. As the person shares what is going on in life, what is hurting them, or what they are suffering from, I call on my guardian angel and the saints to come to my assistance, especially in guiding me to respond with prudence and wisdom; I also silently pray to the Almighty, “Lord, please take care of this person who is need of you more than I can at this moment.”

It is so easy to feel helpless and frustrated, but it is very important to allow those moments of helplessness lead us into deeper faith and trust instead of despair and negativities. I am amazed how the Holy Spirit can work unimaginable wonders as to comfort and lift up the person — at times, through the words that I could not thought the moment before; other times, in ways that are so personal and intimate, beyond anything that I could ever offer or imagine. God‘s providence, through the power and working of the Holy Spirit, is able to provide, care, and love the person more than you and I could ever imagine!

He listens, understands, and comforts the poor more than any of us can (if they allow Him to love them in their brokenness). The Father of the Poor knows what what we are going through, even at times when we cannot put into words what we are feeling or able to understand what is going on all around us.

It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit comforts us in a very subtle and loving way. His presence is hard to know if our hearts are agitated and worried about external things; however, when He is present, our soul will recognize Him if we slow ourselves down to find rest in Him. He calms us with His loving peace even though we still have to worry about what to do next. The peace of God allows us to rest and to draw life beyond the present struggles that are around us. It is important for us, therefore, to value and learn how to find peace and rest in God. It is fine to carry on and deal with each day’s challenges instead of expecting everything to be perfect, according to our way, or without hardship for God to be loved.

It is hard for us to accept that our daily challenges and struggles will always be there, but the love of God gives us peace to not be agitated, fixated, and brought down by what is going on with life. Each day will have its own blessings and challenges, but to find rest in God through prayers allow us to draw life and peace from the Almighty instead of being bogged down and become focused on the crises alone. Too many of us just tend to bounce from from one crisis to the next! It is too easy to live our lives according to what we want until we hit a crisis, hence we immediately come to God expecting them to be fixed as soon as possible. We seem to live life for ourselves and only come to prayer when we need something. If that is the case, most of our talk with God is basically us speaking and wanting things to be resolved but we have not taken the time to listen and to rest in Him. If we only come to Him in trauma, we cannot really spend the time to draw life from Him because we just want the hurts to end. That is why it is important to make the time outside of crisis to really fall in love, recognize His voice, and be attentive to His presence so we can know that He is present in times of trial and hardship.

Therefore, let us be humble and seek Him, especially to have the poverty of heart to embrace our nothingness and allow God to be our source of strength and everything. The truly poor depends little on themselves but totally on the Almighty. They allow their littleness to become the springboard for their total dependency and childlike faith on the One who loves them. He who is love will unite and help us see our uniqueness in God‘s own love. Indeed, the Holy Spirit, the Father of the Poor, will help us to transform ourselves as to live our vocation and dignity as sons and daughters of the Heavenly Father, disciples of Christ Jesus, and His very own instruments of peace.