Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky?  This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.  (Acts 1:11)

It is hard for us to get our head and hearts around the mystical reality that Jesus is both “with the Father in heaven”, and yet still very much with us through the Church, living and dwelling in all who believe.  Yet, this is the reality and truth.  This is why it is so important for each of us to continually cultivate the “interior life”. 

The life of the Risen Christ is so powerfully at work in us through the promised Spirit of Truth.  As we approach Pentecost, let us pray for a greater openness to the Spirit.  I seem to regularly need to recommit to quiet prayer in my own life.  It is a challenge, I would guess for most of us today.  The Good News is that by God’s grace and eternal plan, we are up to the challenge!

This is what the interior life is all about: attentiveness to the presence of Christ at work in my life.  For us in the Roman Catholic tradition, this life of Christ is experienced and nurtured most intimately through the Sacraments, and most especially through the Eucharist.   It is hard to fathom, but as Christ is present both with the Father, and in each of us, through this life we share with the Risen and Ascended Christ, we can and do participate in a hidden and mysterious way in the eternal Love of God.  The Ascension calls us to see Heaven not only as the destination and eternal dwelling place of the Risen Christ, but our ultimate goal and destiny as well. 

However, during this earthly pilgrimage, we have the freedom and responsibility to walk with Christ, through a docile cooperation with the Holy Spirit.  In these days leading up to Pentecost, let us pray for such a cooperative spirit with the Holy Spirit, that we may continue to be the people God calls us to be; to accomplish the work that God has entrusted to us in this unique stage of salvation history.

Holy and divine Spirit!  Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, your spouse, bring the fullness of your gifts into our hearts.  Comforted and strengthened by you, may we live according to your will and may we die praising your infinite mercy.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.  (Novena to the Holy Spirit)