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Inspired by the Spirit

When I was confirmed in the Catholic Church as an 8th grade student, I learned about the “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” – the spiritual dispositions that are increased in our souls through the power of this special sacrament.  I recall having some vague anticipation that receiving these gifts – among which are listed knowledge, wisdom, and understanding – would make it easier to complete my homework that night. Needless to say, my homework that night was business as usual, and I didn’t give the matter any further thought. While I now know that my childish anticipation was misplaced, I think we all have times in life when we expect a major transformation and see only small ones.

We all receive promptings and inspirations as we travel life’s journey. They may come from family members, friends, or colleagues. They may come up in conversation, prayer, or internet browsing. We might give them only a moment’s thought, or we might dwell on them for days or months. We may end up following these inspirations, or we may reject them entirely.

In order to follow our better inspirations, we need a certain predisposed attitude before the inspiration comes and then ongoing perseverance once we have taken the initial steps toward following it. Three years ago, I was praying in the chapel when I felt the inspiration to walk a few blocks over to the local pregnancy resource center and offer my time as a volunteer. But I was only moved to follow that inspiration because I had already spent so much time immersed in the pro-life movement. From a young age, when I would go with my dad to pray at the local abortion facility, I had pursued opportunities to participate in pro-life efforts and learn about the relevant issues, thus forming in my heart a real conviction to devote myself to the pro-life cause.

So rather than letting the thought pass by, I went directly over to Woman’s Choice Services of Lombard, IL to see how they might be able to use me. I introduced myself to the woman in charge, and soon we agreed that I would come once a week after work to do the donation entry. And here’s where the perseverance comes in.

Now, I spend about 10 hours a month in the office, entering data on the computer or sending thank-you postcards to our donors. I balance the numbers in the donor entry system with the bookkeeper and prepare tax receipts at the end of the year. I even have my own key now, so I’m often in the office alone at odd hours, and I rarely get to see the real workings of the center. Just as I struggled to see the workings of the Holy Spirit in my life after I was confirmed in 8th grade, I sometimes struggle to see how God is using me as a volunteer.

My decision to join Biking for Babies three years ago happened in a similar fashion. But with the right predispositions and a good deal of perseverance, I am now preparing for my third ride. I imagine that it was the same for the apostles over two thousand years ago when they were gathered in the upper room. Their hearts were already predisposed to receive the inspirations of the Holy Spirit before they were sent out to preach the good news of the Gospel, and they needed incredible perseverance as they faced various trials and persecutions along the way. As we prepare for another year of Biking for Babies, we too go forth to share the good news – to proclaim a culture of life throughout our country. I pray that our hearts will be open to receive the inspirations of the Holy Spirit and to persevere when things get tough.


B4B Bio Pic Christine Kania is a 3rd year rider for Biking for Babies. “I currently teach middle school in the Chicago suburbs, where I am also involved in various pro-life and church groups. I completed my first Biking for Babies ride in 2015 with Team Dallas, repeated the same route last year, and this year I’m looking forward to the flat terrain of the Mississippi River valley! I believe that the best way to live out the pro-life message is to live your own life in a way that shows how much you value it. Endurance sports and sharing the pro-life message make me come alive, and I am so grateful for this amazing opportunity to do both.”