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Dear Friends,

At the time of writing we have just entered the season of Pentecost and it brings to mind one of those Bible texts which has such an impact upon one’s own faith. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God,” 1 Corinthians 6 19.

Jesus Christ was sent to be amongst us, to show us God and teach us by example, to love thy neighbour as thyself, to care for the poor, sick and vulnerable, to put aside our own pride and vanity. But the Holy Spirit was sent not to be amongst us but to be within us. On that day the Holy Spirit descended upon the Disciples and followers with Peter reminding the crowd that the prophet Joel had foretold ….. “I will pour out my spirit upon every sort of flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy and your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams.”

It was not only the Disciples on which the Holy Spirit had descended but all of the followers and note, women and men! Of course, the presence of the Holy Spirit was not restricted to that one-off event but to all those in future times who are followers of Christ. But as several writers remind us, we are human, we are fallible and also within us are the traits of sin, envy, jealousy, anger, selfishness and so on. We all have it within us, we all battle with what in modern film is described as the “dark side”. And thus, we face a daily battle to reach within us for the Holy Spirit, to nurture our ability to recognise and feel this presence and to be guided. No doubt some days this is easier than others and yes for all of us it is a constant battle. It isn't considered very “PC” these days to sing “Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war”, but may I suggest that there is a battle, a battle for all of us that exists not against others but within ourselves. Through prayer and reflection, we can find the Holy Spirit within us, lead lives guided by the Spirit rather than the “dark side” and with this comes joy, peace and tranquillity.

My dear friends, I wish you strength and courage in your ongoing battle as I am sure you wish for me.