By Marge Fenelon
I’ve often said, “There’s nothing as beautiful as a Spirit-filled woman.” There’s something about the way she carries herself and relates to others that allows me to spot her immediately. She emanates a natural beauty regardless of her physique or outward appearance. It goes beyond her style sense, posture or movements. The beauty of the Spirit-filled woman comes from within and is a reflection of her love for Christ and his love for her. It shines in her eyes, floats on the melody of her voice, and is spread through her words and actions. There is a holy presence about her that makes it apparent that she’s one who’s been claimed for Christ. Her sincere joy elevates others into a state of joy as well.
Do you know a woman like this? Perhaps you are one, or at least strive to be one. None of us is perfect and even the Spirit-filled woman has her moments, as they say. But those moments are just that – moments – not laws that govern her entire life.
I think and pray a lot about my desire to become a Spirit-filled woman throughout the year, but especially during the days after Easter when the Scriptures trace the adventures of the Apostles as they spread the Good News throughout the world. What most touches my heart about this is that these brave men were once cowards who abandoned our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his Passion and Crucifixion. Jesus needed them most then, but they turned their backs on him.
At Pentecost, they were filled with the Spirit, given new courage and an unshakable sense of mission. They were on fire with the message of Christ and it showed in their words and actions. I do not know for a fact, but I would bet that their appearances had changed as well, allowing others to see what lay within and experience the love of Christ shining in their eyes. I imagine that even their posture, movements, tone of voice, and presence changed, too. This was the working of the Holy Spirit.
Obviously, I’m not a man, but I am a disciple of Christ and a woman created to exclude God’s goodness and spread the Good News wherever our Lord leads me. Like the Apostles, I want to throw off my former cowardly self and bravely allow God to do great things through me.
There’s a scene from the Gospel of John that I’m especially drawn to:
“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. [Jesus] said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit.” (Jn 20:19-23).
I pray that Jesus will pass through the locked doors of my heart and rescue me from my fears, insecurities, and inhibitions. I want him to breathe the Spirit into my soul so that I may truly become a Spirit-filled woman.
About the author:
Marge Fenelon is a Catholic author, blogger, speaker, and journalist whose writing has appeared in dozens of media outlets. Marge is the author of several books on Marian devotion and Catholic family life, including My Queen, My Mother. She is a regular contributor on Catholic radio and has appeared on Catholic television.