By Kate Anderson
For nearly 16 months, my dear Dad plumped hospital pillows, formed alliances with nurses, and asked doctors hard questions. He never tallied the hours spent in waiting rooms or miles driven to treatments. Grandpa was the “cause” of my devoted “dad-vocate,” who unceasingly encouraged and supported his father through twists of events. Even when Grandpa’s plan of care turned from hope-filled treatments to heartbreaking hospice, my Dad never stopped seeking the utmost for his best friend.
These intimate moments I witnessed between my Dad and Grandpa taught me more about advocacy than a lifetime of courtroom dramas and social justice biographies. His advocacy for Grandpa was a pure and selfless gift of love. My Dad taught me that the greatest advocates never stop fighting for what is true, good, or beautiful because they desire the best for the other person.
Advocacy on this side of heaven is only a glimpse of the spiritual reality we are invited into daily. The risen Jesus speaks these peace-infused words from today’s Gospel to all of us: “He will give you an Advocate to be with you always.” In spite of our resurrected hopes and Easter joys, Jesus knew we would still struggle without His presence.
And so He offers the Holy Spirit to be our own faithful advocate. The Spirit is our spokesperson, our consoler, and our comforter. Through this gift, we have a champion who will fight for our every need, great and small! Our Advocate is near in the crushing news, the impossible tasks, and the unbearable crosses of our lives. God the Holy Spirit desires our best and will faithfully stay with us until the end, as the best advocates do.
Our invitation in each moment is to recognize the nearness of the One pleading our cause. We can name the small comforts and blessed consolations gently hidden in each moment. Contemplate how our Advocate upholds us through the Eucharist and other sacramental graces. Thank those who have bolstered our weary and drooping spirits. Advocate for that special person or cause that touches our heart through generous gifts of time or talent.
Advocacy is for each of us—not just the folks recognized by Merriam-Webster. Whether you lean into the support of the Spirit today or bravely go forth to bolster others, know that you are ever accompanied by the Divine: He in us, and we in Him.
About the Author:
Kate Anderson is a young Catholic with an old soul. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from Bethel University this spring, she will pursue meaningful work in public relations, human resources, or event management. Kate enjoys playing the piano, conversing with kindred spirits over warm beverages, and reading spiritual books.