Thank you to Michela for your witness of how to live life in the Holy Spirit today and how we do that for each other brothers and sisters in the People of Hope.
Hello everyone, most of you should know me, I’m Michela Brooks and I am honored to just share with you how I have experienced the Holy Spirit through this community and learned what it means to live life in the Holy Spirit more through community.
So growing up I didn't grow up in a covenant community, I moved here seven years ago actually this summer. I was a part of the People of Hope and SPO and had a lot of experiences before that as well with covenant community and it was even from the time I was 18 and experienced it for the first time, there's something so beautiful about these men and women and their children and their families living life together and worshiping together. Like Fr. John said, that is what's different, that's why we come together for a prayer meeting, it’s not just to hear someone talk to us but to pray together. And then that is just a reflection of the personal prayer lives that each and every one of us have and bring to those meetings together, bring to the Lord together. And that was something that as an 18 year old I was like “wow this is different from sunday mass” you know, “This is different from any of the retreats I'd been on in high school”. And I really felt just an attraction, like Fr John said, an attraction to this new way of life that I was experiencing. I think over the years that I have experienced and lived in and whether lived in like in the People of Hope or lived side by side in different communities, just the way that the Holy Spirit has been able to be cultivated in my life through the people that I’ve met. And specifically in this community I have learned so much of what it looks like to live life in the Holy Spirit, today, in New Jersey, in this century that we're living in; not when Jesus was alive but today. Like what does it mean, we're not in an upper room, we're not like going two by two knocking on doors with our staffs and sandals, well maybe sandals but not staff, and we're working and we're living and raising children and buying houses and like what does that mean to live life in the Holy Spirit today?
And specifically in this community I have learned so much of what it looks like to live life in the Holy Spirit, today, in New Jersey, in this century that we're living in; not when Jesus was alive but today.
I was thinking about this earlier, like how have I experienced and been challenged to live life in the Holy Spirit through you all? A few examples, I could talk all day about like all the ways that i've seen the Lord work through all of you in my life, but just a few memories that came to mind specifically: early on I was at a women's retreat and I remember Alicia Montemurno talking about how she would just talk to the woman next to her at Unique who was also looking at bed sheets about Jesus Christ and like “oh yeah the prayer meeting” and you know things like that and bringing the gospel to this woman in a thrift store, you know or so many others. Fred sharing a prophetic sense at a Compass prayer meeting for somebody in a purple shirt and i'm like “wow what boldness”, (I might have gotten the prophetic sense wrong) but like what boldness and beauty to practice these gifts or Br. Jude's like constant personal intercession for like each and every one of us, I'm sure, you know in that love that he shows to us or Mary Margaret just like speaking God's truth to me about who He sees me and who I am. And I could probably say something about every single one of you about your hospitality and the way that challenges me to live life in the Holy Spirit generously. Or your personal prayer and your dedication to it for decades like it's only been one to maybe a half for me and so that is a testament to me of like this is what sustaining life in the Holy Spirit looks like for all of my life.
So yeah, I think like for me living life in the Holy Spirit is embodied in each and every one of you in your relationships and in how it challenges me to live out the Holy Spirit in my life more radically, more on fire for the Lord and sharing him and like Fr. John said like through through the Holy Spirit, God has renewed and reminded me of His new graces every day and through each and every one of you the Lord has reminded me of his new graces every single day.
So I think an encouragement of to have a deeper conversion today, I know I do as well, a deeper conversion for the need of community in my life, and even the hard parts, like a deeper conversion for the hard parts of community in my life; and that's where the Holy Spirit wants to draw me right now, He wants to bring me there and bring me deeper there in those difficult parts that we each experience in our own way. So, praise God, I thank you all & praise God for the gift of community that he's given to each and every one of us and may He continue to use us to be his light, to bring that freshness to the world around us and that grace to the world around us. Amen.
I thank you all & praise God for the gift of community that he's given to each and every one of us
- Michela, Compass Member
This witness was shared at our Pentecost Prayer Meeting, to hear it live, click here.