Each of us was baptized “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We begin most prayer times as we make the sign of the cross and repeat with these same words. As with most prayer formulas it is easy to take what we say for granted. This week between the feasts of Ascension and Pentecost offers an important moment to pay attention to the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.

What gifts of God’s Holy Spirit do I most need in my life as June 2014 begins? There are seven formal gifts of the Holy Spirit identified in Scripture: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, holiness, reverence for God’s presence. Perhaps one of these stands out as a gift I really need right here and now. Beg Jesus and the Father to fill your heart with this special gift.

The gifts of the Spirit are personal, but they also come to the communities we belong to — our family, our church community, our wider world. Take some moments this week to beg the Holy Spirit to send peace…patience…forgiveness… kindness…generosity…faithfulness…joy.

And ask the Lord to make you an agent of these gifts wherever you go, whatever you accomplish. Come, Holy Spirit!

—The Jesuit Prayer Team