“The Holy Spirit forms thoughts and suggests words in the hearts of the just. Those who have the Holy Spirit produce nothing bad; all the fruits of the Holy Spirit are good.”
-Saint John Vianney
Do you ever have that moment when reflecting on a past interaction with a person when all of a sudden, you think of something profound you wish you would have thought and said? This happens to me constantly, usually hours or days after the fact… I then regret the missed opportunity that I could not communicate because it could have been so helpful! I usually get very frustrated when this happens, however after speaking with a fellow member of our Street Evangelization team, some words of wisdom were impressed upon me.
Something I did not consider was that perhaps great words that do not come to mind in a particular situation is simply because the Holy Spirit did not think it was the right thing or time to be said. This was a very humbling realization and especially impactful to me as I become involved with the St. Paul Street Evangelization ministry at SJUP. At times I struggle because I desire to proclaim the Good News and the One True Church all at once so that people understand immediately. However I should also consider the personal and spiritual lives of every individual I interact with and where they are at on their faith journey so that I can meet and walk with them, rather than overwhelm or push them away. Perhaps a lack of thought or words while evangelizing on the street could be because that individual is not yet ready to take that step in their faith journey.
Although I believe it is extremely important to never cease reflecting and praying on these situations in order to grow and better prepare for future interactions, I know that I need to trust in God’s Divine Providence and rely more on the Holy Spirit to guide and counsel me. I am beginning to see that the more I do street evangelization, the more I will rely on the discernment of the Holy Spirit to pour grace into my heart. As a result, the right words will come as I need them! So instead of demanding perfection from myself when speaking with others and regretting all the things I should have said, I will pray to the Holy Spirit and have trust in God so that I can better evangelize with love of God in my heart, kind words, stewardship, and living by example.