The Holy Spirit offers us the Gift of Knowledge. This is a gift that helps us learn the truths of faith such as the Creed, or attempt to examine the mysteries of faith such as the Trinity, or how God works miracles.
To the current culture of CSI (New York, Miami, East Overshoe, and beyond) watchers and the resurgence of Sherlock Holmes, mysteries have become only something to be solved – and usually within an hour. This is not the plot objective when probing the mysteries of God.
To know God is not to have him figured out. Some aspects of God (ok most of those) are not to be solved, but instead pondered, reflected upon and through the gift of knowledge, ultimately brought to an understanding of belief.
In Pope Francis' May 21, 2014, Wednesday Audience he explained,
“The knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit, however, is not limited to human knowledge: it is a special gift, which allows us to grasp, through Creation, the greatness and love of God and His profound relationship with every creature.”
Pope Francis delves into the mysticism of our faith, that deeper contemplation of how God is revealed to us – not only through humans or the Word, but through all of Creation. In that same address, Pope Francis reminds, some might even say warns us:
Custody of Creation is custody of God’s gift to us and it is also a way of saying thank you to God. I am the master of Creation but to carry it forward I will never destroy your gift. And this should be our attitude towards Creation. Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this! [Visit Front Row with Pope Francis at Catholiclane.com for my further analysis of Pope Francis’ May 21st Audience.]
So, to attain knowledge, we need a source. God is that source, and He chooses many ways to reveal knowledge to us, including, as Pope Francis explains, through all of Creation.
As a person who does not spend a great deal of time in the Great Outdoors, I’m going to make an assertion that (on most days) Social Media offers another (and often valuable) avenue of acquiring knowledge of the Catholic Faith.
How many of us completed our Faith Formation with our Confirmation, and never bothered to further our knowledge of Catholicism beyond what we learned then? How could we possibly know everything about the infinite God in just 8 to 10 years! Why would we want to be done? It is so exciting to discover new things about the people we love...how about if that person was the mysterious, Triune, infinite, Divine God?
Believe it or not, I find Twitter a fabulous source of continuing education. It is all in who you choose to follow.
My favorite “Tweeter” hands-down is Pope Francis! I also enjoy reading the many tweets of the Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, Deacons, and Religious, who have joined the social media world, along with the phenomenal group of Lay people who have picked up the Catholic Social Media gauntlet.
To best utilize my Twitter time, I have latched onto many fabulous Twitter Lists but have yet to attempt creating my own. (I also had my delicate little ego stroked when I opened my “member of ” Twitter link and saw how many awesome people had included me in their tweets to follow lists – that deserves a #gratefultweet hashtag moment!)
One of my favorite Twitter memories came while sitting in my living room, all by myself, watching CatholicTV’s coverage of the announcement of our new Pope back in March of 2013. I, along with thousands of Catholics from around the world, were feverishly tweeting the events unfolding on the television, computer or mobile device screens. The rate of tweets was at times 800 new tweets per second (a year ago I was following about 1,000 Twitter accounts) during the wait for the announcement and even as the curtains opened. Then things quieted for a moment as we focused our attention to watch and listen:
Within minutes my twitter feed was buzzing again, and it was fun to see who guessed and who was surprised. It was even more fun to see how many of us were wondered who was this guy, and started to simultaneously Google search. Finally, came THE most spellbinding moment of the entire Conclave, when the newly elected Pope Francis bowed his head and asked for our prayers and blessing!
It seemed only appropriate after my introduction to Pope Francis through Twitter, that I should continue to use this social media outlet to continue to follow his daily wit, wisdom, and imparting of knowledge. It is the gift of the Holy Spirit that I use to transform what I read into belief and practice, and then of course, to share that with others. #HolySpirit #SocialMedia #PopeFrancis #Retweet
Read other posts in Allison's Social Media and Gifts of the Spirit series.
Copyright 2014, Allison Gingras
About the Author
Allison Gingras created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV), including "The Gift of Invitation" and "Seeking Peace: A Spiritual Journey from Worry to Trust." Her ministry focuses on the grace of prayer, Scripture, and sacrament. Allison is the national WINE Steward for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and hosts A Seeking Heart podcast.