This past Sunday, on the feast day celebrating the conversion of St. Paul, we heard a reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Acts tells the stories of Sts. Peter and Paul and the others that made up the early Church. It is a beautiful underdog story.
Or is it?
The Church had many things counted against it - and still does - but it has the Spirit. As the Christian band Reliant K put it in Be My Escape: "the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair". God sent His Holy Spirit to the Church - to all of us - and its an unfair advantage. What could possibly stand against that?
The Holy Spirit is His spirit. He (not it!) is God. The word used in the Bible is pneuma or breath. Perhaps the word was first chosen because the science of the time did not understand what the breath was, or perhaps it was chosen because of the close connection between breathing and life. Regardless, the word carries a special meaning - the meaning intended by the One inspiring those that penned that word. We are the Body of Christ; God's Holy Spirit is the breath running through that body. He is the breath that invigorates the Church, that keeps us alive, that gives us the strength to keep moving.
What do you do when you're tired? You take a deeper breath, you take in more. You need more. When it is hard to carry on, the Holy Spirit is there to give us strength, to help us carry on, just as it did for the apostles.