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Gifts of the Holy Spirit must move us

By Juliana Valdez

I have always admired the Gary Sinise character, detective Mac Taylor on the television series CSI:NY. His unflustered, direct, and knowledgeable approach to the various crime situations, his eye for detail, finding clues to solve the crimes being investigated and his relationship with his team, all contribute to the success of his character.

Researching Gary Sinise, the actor who portrays the Mac Taylor character, I learnt that through the RCIA programme, he received the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2010, and has been a practising Catholic ever since.

Describing his conversion experience, he refers to the event as “Beautiful, a very special night for my family.”

In a recent episode, his character was shot and was on the verge of death. A dear friend sat at his bedside praying for his recovery. With rosary in her hand, she was holding on to his while praying aloud the Apostles’ Creed. On reaching the line, “I believe in the Holy Spirit,” his fingers moved, and he opened his eyes…

Yes, it’s TV, I know, where the endings of the episodes are usually predictable, but I was focused on the inclusion of the two aspects of Catholic prayer traditions.

The first was the praying of the rosary. Although we are urged to pray the rosary daily, many are the testimonies given by the faithful who sought our Blessed Mother’s intercession in times of crisis, praying the rosary more.

My thoughts were that in this time of the COVID-19, especially during the month of May, the incident of the friend praying the rosary for Mac Taylor, and receiving the blessing of his healing, was a timely reminder that Our Lady is the Help of the Sick and Comforter of the Afflicted.

So, we unite our rosaries, praying for an end to this pandemic, and the restoration of good health!

The second aspect was the praying of the Creed. Mac’s restoration was seen just when the friend prayed the line, “I believe in the Holy Spirit….” he responded. In fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to His apostles to send an advocate, a comforter who would remind them of all that He had done and who would teach them new things, we have the third Glorious Mystery, to contemplate on!

In our quest to live lives pleasing to Almighty God, we are reminded that we cannot do it alone. We need the guidance and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to direct us.

At our Confirmation, we receive the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit and so, as our catechism teaches us, we become true soldiers of Jesus Christ, allowing our faith to inspire and motivate us to work assiduously in the vineyard of the Lord.

In real life, Sinise spends much of his free time in what is described as Catholic charitable fashion, supporting military troops wherever they may be, as well as building forever homes for wounded veterans.

He also has a music band which entertains, especially veterans. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he is working in the vineyard! How do we spend our free time?

Daily, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which we received at our Confirmation must be used to assist us in righteous living. In so doing, these gifts bear fruit in our lives, “good fruit” pleasing to God.

As we celebrate Pentecost, we pray for an outpouring of the fire of Holy Spirit upon our lives, rekindling, reviving, renewing in us, that desire to love, serve, and grow closer to Christ Jesus. Let’s open hearts and minds to receive these blessings. “Come Holy Spirit, fall afresh on us……….”