When the Holy Spirit Acts…

The Divine Paraclete inspires souls to give good counsel. But does He also prompt them to seek it in times of need?

The bags were finally packed and ready. Teresa and her mother were finalizing the preparations for her father’s trip. As the couple’s only child, she liked to feel how much her parents counted on her help.

Her father was Dr. Timothy, a professor at the country’s top university, a renowned historian and an eminent speaker. He had been invited by a university in another city to give a lecture series on the great sea navigations of the Portuguese Explorers.

Teresa was very proud of her father and loved him with all her heart. She wanted to accompany him and help him with this important work.

“Daddy, please let me go with you!”

She insisted so much that her parents were inclined to give in… but how could the little girl be of any real help to an experienced professor? Her father finally came up with an idea.

Terry,” he said, using her nickname, “I am considering publishing a book on my research about the New World navigations. Let’s work on it together: You can record my lectures, and then you will help me organize the draft of the book. Do you agree to the plan?”

“Oh yes, it’s a perfect plan!” she said as she hugged him for choosing her as his trusty helper.

“But, daughter, listen closely: do you realize this is a big responsibility that will require serious dedication on your part?”

“Yes Dad, I know!”

The following afternoon, they bid Mom goodbye and left.

The lectures went smoothly, and attendance was high. On the last day, a large group of faculty staff and students waited in line to greet and thank Dr. Timothy, and some people even asked to take their photograph with him.

Teresa waited close by, watching the scene. As the minutes ticked by and the greetings went on, she grew tired. She finally found a seat and continued watching the action, wondering what to do.

“I know!”, she thought, “I’ll check to see how the recordings came out.” But as she reached into her pocket for the recording device, she realized it was gone!

“How very strange! I kept the recorder with me the whole time! Oh, no! What has become of it?”

She got up and searched the chairs, the floor, the area around the sound system, and the water fountain. After searching every corner of the auditorium, she finally admitted to herself that she had lost the gadget. She was embarrassed about her carelessness, but most of all it gripped her heart to think of disappointing her dear father and the setback that this would mean for the book that was to bring him fame! Being a bit of a cry-baby, she hid in a corner of the auditorium and let her tears flow.

Without her noticing it, the Holy Spirit was hovering over Teresa. As incredible as it may seem, her affliction was the cause of His loving visit. He would soon bring her consolation and teach her a valuable lesson!

Suddenly Teresa saw her aunt, uncle, and cousin Cecilia walk through the door. They lived in that city, and even though could not attend Dr. Timothy’s lectures, they still wanted to drop by and greet him.

After an unsuccessful search, Teresa admitted to herself that she had lost the recorder… It gripped her heart to think of disappointing her father, and the setback this would mean for his book

Cecilia saw Teresa at a distance and went running over to talk to her. But when she got up close, she was shocked to find her upset.

“Teresa, what happened? Aren’t you happy to be here?”

“I was happy… But the worst disaster has just happened!” These words caused a tense silence. Teresa immediately felt bad about worrying her dear cousin. “I’m sorry, Cecilia, I should learn to control my feelings better.”

But Cecilia was a noble-hearted girl and wanted nothing other than to help Teresa. She was also unaware that the Holy Spirit was hovering over her. Not long ago, she had recently received the Sacrament of Confirmation, and the gift of counsel was active in her soul, helping her to quickly decide what to do next, for this gift aids most especially in sudden, unforeseen, and difficult situations that require rapid solutions.

After some prompting, Teresa finally revealed the cause of her sorrow.

“Hmm… I really don’t know how to resolve this one. I think the only solution is to pray!” said Cecilia.

Then and there, seated side by side, they folded their hands, closed their eyes, and asked for heavenly help. The Divine Paraclete acted distinctly in each soul, prompting one girl to seek counsel, and inspiring the other with the right counsel to give. However, both were led by the same Spirit.

Suddenly, Cecilia opened her eyes and spoke:

“What’s outside the auditorium?” The question seemed to have nothing to do with the urgent problem of the lost voice recorder…

“I have no idea,” was all Teresa could say.

“Well, let’s find out. There are interesting things in this campus. Plus, if you keep mulling over this problem, you will never cheer up. You need to distract yourself.”

So they set off for a stroll through the corridors, without wandering too far from the conference hall. But before long, Teresa was in tears once again.


“Things can’t go on like this!” Cecilia chided. “You have to get over what happened!”

As she tried to bolster her cousin’s hope, they heard a noise. They quickly turned to see a maintenance worker with a mop, bucket, and cleaning products making her way up a flight of stairs. But she had fumbled with her armful of supplies, and a set of bottles had broken loose and was sliding down the steps.

“Teresa!” exclaimed Cecilia energetically, “the best way to get over problems is to help others! Let’s give her a hand!”

Tugging at her cousin’s sleeve, she soon had her running to the woman’s aid. They gathered up the loose bottles, and helped the worker stow them neatly at the nearby supply station. At that very same spot, they noticed a box labelled: “Lost and Found.” Teresa’s eyes brightened, and her hopes soared. She lifted the lid and with a sigh of relief, reached in and retrieved the only object it contained – the recorder! She jumped for joy and hugged her cousin and the surprised maintenance lady.

The girls rushed back to the auditorium and found their families at the door. Teresa ran over to her father and breathlessly told him what had happened. Mostly she wanted him to know how the Holy Spirit hastily comes to the aid of those who listen for His silent voice.

Let this be a lesson to us: the voice of the Consoler frequently comes to us in our day-to-day lives through good counsel. These words of guidance may come from our parents, teachers, or even someone whom we least expected would act as God’s instrument at that moment. In all of our difficulties, let us confide in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for He will gently direct our lives if we cooperate with His action. ◊



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