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Led by the Spirit

In between our Foundations in Synodality blog series, I am pleased to welcome PVP Leadership Team member Dana Hlusko back to the blogosphere! She's sharing real-world experience of what it's like to follow the Spirit...really like! Welcome Dana...we are grateful for your honesty!

Confession: I am a ”high-need-for-control” type of person. My previous secular job (I’m retired) was in IT health care. One mistake in coding could cause dangerous erroneous information to get to a care provider. The stakes were high. So white knuckle control was needed in creating, testing, and implementing a change in the program. That carried

over to my personal life – everything was planned. No spontaneity was allowed. And by no spontaneity, I mean no last-minute invitations, no last-minute changes in destination. None. That kind of control was exhausting.

This need for control did not stop with my work. During my early involvement in my parish, I wanted things done a certain way. I did gymnastic-style gyrations to make certain things happen, even manipulating a situation and the people involved to get where I wanted to go. Where Iwanted to go. Being that I was in control, and not the Spirit, these endeavors met with disaster, causing hurt to the people involved.

Several years later, I was invited to a gathering of people from different backgrounds, but with a common thread running through it. We were all Catholics wanting the Church to be her better self. We met and committed to continuing to learn about synodality and Pope Francis’ initiative to make synodality a way of life for the Church. We agreed that the Holy Spirit was the inspiration for the gathering and that we would depend on the Spirit to lead us in our decisions and path of our future. One of the initiators of the meeting had already started a website and soon created a nonprofit entity. We called ourselves The Pentecost Vigil Project, Inc. The Spirit quickly started opening doors for us. She provided contacts with business entities and people in the Church hierarchy with whom we could collaborate. Pretty soon we had a product to sell, freebies, prayers anyone could copy, and had posted links on the website to national and international synod reports. We seemed to be rolling along.

Now, refer back to my confession. Allowing the Spirit to lead was a BIG leap for me. I wondered how we were going to function, make contacts, raise money for expenses, govern ourselves and on and on. I had a particular role to play, Treasurer, and had certain ideas about running the business but controlling every movement of the company was not one of them. But I discovered something about myself and the Spirit. Trusting in the Spirit’s wisdom, I did something entirely foreign to my character: I surrendered. Ceding control of things to the Spirit was actually liberating. I don’t have that unhealthy compulsion to control or push my own agenda.

Jesus was right when He said, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mt 11:30). Here’s what I am learning: Allow Jesus to take that burden of compulsive control off your shoulders and surrender to the Holy Spirit Who will give you passion and joy doing His work.


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