When the days began to look and feel the same about five weeks into quarantine, I started to lose inspiration.
In my job and in my writing, I rely on creativity to fuel me. And, often that creativity comes from being engaged in the world… not restricted from it. I started to see that my interactions and my reflections on them were getting repetitive and, well, just uninspired. At one point this week, I had a few writing assignments I was trying to produce and I had nothing left in me to write.
I texted a friend and said “I can’t do this. Maybe I shouldn’t be writing at all.” She told me that was the voice of the “evil spirit”, a term we use in Ignatian Spirituality to indicate a voice quite opposite of the voice of love and truth.
She invited me to stop and pray “Come, Holy Spirit, give me the words you wish me to share with the world.”
Good advice, but I have to say I hesitated a little. I don’t know why, but I did. I mean, could it be that easy? Just pray some words and really mean them and inspiration would come?
Later that day, I recorded an examen for my school. The beginning of our examen usually starts “I take a moment to invite the Holy Spirit enter my heart as I reflect on the events of my day.” Whether or not I was fully ready to pray them myself, I spoke those words into my microphone. After I pressed stop on the recording, I thought again “Come Holy Spirit.”
The next morning, I woke up and sat and wrote. I didn’t realize it had been two hours since I started and luckily, even though they had woken up long before, my three always hungry boys were content to play and wait for me. When I closed my laptop, I had gotten further than I had in months.
I realized something later though. The Holy Spirit’s answer could have been to not give me the words – if words to the world were not my gift to give at that time. And if the answer had been no… it wouldn’t mean that the Holy Spirit wasn’t giving me exactly what I needed. And I probably would have felt every bit as at peace with the answer I received as I did placing words upon the page.
I wouldn’t know, however, if I never asked the question.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, the Lord reminds us that He has left us someone who will be with us always – the Spirit of truth. This Spirit is ready and willing to inspire us and help us utilize our unique gifts and talents… if we only ask.
So have a little faith, say the prayer:
“Come Holy Spirit: Open my mind and heart to the message you wish me to hear.”
You might be surprised at what happens when you do.