HomeRetreatsWaiting for the Spirit Online Retreat Day Five

Waiting for the Spirit Online Retreat Day Five

Waiting for the Spirit: Ascension to Pentecost Retreat - text next to image of disciples at Pentecost

Welcome to Day Five of Waiting for the Spirit! Thank you for joining our online retreat. Feel free to post your reflections in the comments area below each day’s content as we encourage one another in prayer.

The Grace I Seek

I pray for the grace to recognize the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life.

Come, Holy Spirit Prayer


Read today’s Scripture readings: May 26, 2020, Memorial of Saint Philip Neri.

Barbara Lee reflects on today’s Gospel, John 17:1–11a. Lee is a spiritual director and author of God Isn’t Finished with Me Yet.

For Further Reflection

The Holy Spirit comforts and advocates for us.

In Scripture, we find references to the Holy Spirit as one who consoles and comforts us (John 14:16) and as our helper who comes alongside us to live a life of virtue and holiness (John 16:13). One of the titles of the Holy Spirit is the “Paraclete,” which is translated from the Greek term, parakletos, as one who advocates, comforts, and comes to our aid. We can feel burnt out and overwhelmed at times. The Holy Spirit has been sent to each one of us to renew our minds and hearts, helping us become ever more conscious of our intimacy with Jesus and with one another. How has the Holy Spirit advocated for and comforted you?

Julianne Stanz

Take some time to ponder the message that God shares with you today through the Scripture readings and reflections. When you are ready, proceed to the closing prayer.

Closing Prayer

Gretchen Crowder leads us in prayer.


  1. Like John, you speak to us in a clear calm voice, Barbara. I returned to your reflection after the protests and rioting this weekend. If we do not unlock the doors, shall they be beaten down? If we implore the Holy Spirit to “Come”, are we ready, how will we ready, for the conversion that will exact? I am grateful to the retreat leaders, for helping goad our imagination, our intellect and our orientation to how to be in relationship with God, and specifically, how to better receive and recognize the Advocate in our lives.

  2. it is comforting that in this difficult time we can turn to the Holy Spirit who guides us to continue to follow the Lord. Lord, I beg to grant us greater faith and hope in you to recognize God’s hand’s even in challenging situations that we encounter now.

  3. Yes, ‘this a time of living in the Upper Room with the first century disciples‘… learning what it truly might have meant to walk in their shoes…please God that ‘I might pray honestly to God for what I think I need so God can, might, will show me what He knows I need.’’ That I might pray honestly about who I am so that God might show me who I really am so, that I might beg my Father for the grace, His Grace to live my life in reality that ‘it is of no importance to me, IF only I might find my course AND the ministry that The Lord waits to offer me from Jesus to bear witness to the Gospel. (Acts 20:17-27)
    Thank you Barbara and Gretchen and retreat masters !

  4. I am grateful fo this profound reflection Barbara, thank you. To be in that Upper Room is a place I’ll return to during these days, perhaps to remain with Mary in the shadows might be a good place as we await the Spirit!

  5. Come Holy Spirit. Thanks to Barbara for comparing our troubles of today as Jesus had said in the upper room we would suffer. Help us to accept this cross, and give us faith in the Holy Spirt to stay with us and help us survive.
    Thanks to all the women and men who have shared with us this first 5 days of this retreat.
    Thank you Loyola Books.

  6. Thank you and I thank God for allowing me to be able to listen to all your wise counsel. I can hardly hear any of you, but able to read the subtitles. God Bless and again many thanks. A>M>D>G>

  7. Thank you Barbara, you painted a wonderful picture of that ‘upper room’ – I felt my presence there but I feel I would have been one of those in the shadows, and for me, waitng to see what others did before standing up to be counted. So I pray to he Holy Spirit to help me find my courage to be bold in letting my light shine.
    God bless you all for this special retreat.

  8. Barbara, How has the Holy Spirit advocated for and comforted you? I really don’t know if the Holy Spirit has come to me, to renew my mind and spirit and heart. what are the signs? If I am moved to tears while praying is this a sign? I am very confused about this. I am too shy to ask a priest about his maybe before the last one left. The new priest has not said hello to me since he has been a pastor for 2 years in this church. I don’t even know whyI bother to go to this church anymore. I know it is none of my business Barabara but I will pray to God that you will give a big smile Ihave more to say.
    What are the signs? If I am moved to tears while praying, is this a sign? I am very confused about this. And am I too shy to ask a priest that was ahere..since he has been vailable and has moved into another category.The new pastor has not recognized me in the 2 years since he has been here. I find this very disheartening and insulting. I did the coffee thing for 3 years and when he became the new pastor in year 3 he did not have any time to say hello to me . I do not know about other parishioners but this is not acceptable
    to Our Lord, Jesus Christ

    The Holy. Spirit is as far away from me I feel as the Holy Ghost. And Barbara Lee, I would like to see a smile on your face when the Holy . Spirit. comes to me . How do you really know you have the Holy Spirit?

    • Dear Noreen
      I’m sorry I feel inadequate to answer your question about how to know whether you have received the Holy Spirit. Everyone experiences it differently. In the Ignatian tradition, we associate feelings of peace and compassion with the Holy Spirit, and feelings of anxiety and distress with “not the Holy Spirit.” I have the impression that you haven’t found a parish community that nourishes you. Depending on what resources are available where you live, perhaps you can find a more comfortable place to worship, or a qualified spiritual director who could meet with you and give you guidance. God bless you.

  9. Loved what you had to say to us, Barbara. I was enthralled by your voice and the picture you painted for us. I could totally relate. Thank you.

  10. Thank you Barbara for “taking” us up to the upper room with the oil burning lamps and so many of “us” gathered there. I could really picture this so well. Some may have been annoyed with one another which happens when we are sheltered in our own upper rooms at this time. We can all call on our Holy Spirit to shelter us in any place.
    Gretchen your closing prayer was very special. Thank you both.
    Warm Blessings

  11. I loved that Barbara drew the comparison between the times we live in and the times the apostles waited in the; upper room I loved the detail “the doors were locked,” that highlighed their anxiety and fear. Thank you Loyola Press for putting this retreat together!

  12. I know our true home is in heaven and I feel comfort in that. My focus is getting there and not take anything for granted such as being given another tomorrow. This pandemic has been an extended Lent for me in offering things up and to meditate on what is truly important. I prayer for those souls who have died, for those who are suffering with the virus, the frontline workers, for those who live in fear and the unbelievers. Come Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth.

  13. Thank you Barbara for making me understand the scripture more and how we pray with Jesus through the holy spirit.I really believe that The Holy spirit comforted me continuously when zi was sick and even now that I find a lot of time alone at home. I don’t feel bored, always guiding me on all things I do.From simply walking in the neighborhood cleaning and even cooking. Thank you guiding me on every step in my life.i pray with you .Jesus listen to our prayer.Amen

  14. Gretchen: “Others are praying for me… including You.” An awesome reminder. “Help me to pray for others…” An awesome call to action! Thank you.

  15. Thank you, Barbara, for your description of the followers of Jesus in the upper room and the comparison to us today waiting for what will happen next. The reflections and prayers in this retreat each day are beautiful. Come Holy Spirit.

  16. Thank you, Advocate, for inspiring these women leading the retreat to bring us your grace and guidance in its fullness. Amen.

  17. Thank you once again for a clear scripture story reminding us of how the disciples too experienced feelings of anxiety until united in prayer they discovered courage to face all that was to come through the power of the Advocate-
    We are never alone
    Come Holy Spirit embolden us to be witnesses to the Truth by our patience compassion and love.
    Another blessed day to be alive and well
    Thank you all for this retreat

  18. These daily meditation on the Holy Spirit are wonderful. To all those sharing their reflections, prayers, and faith I thank you and bless you. I am grateful that Loyola Press has gifted us with the 3-minute daily meditations. My prayer group begins tonight our discussion of Becky Eldredge’s book, The Inner Chapel. God bless all at Loyola Press.

  19. Thank you, Gretchen and Barbara, for helping us on our spiritual journey. Thank you, God the Father, for loving us, and Jesus the Son, who gave Himself for us. Come Holy Spirit, and fill our lives, and souls, and beings with the fire of your love.

  20. Thank you to everyone who has worked on creating this wonderful series. I am feeling overwhelmingly joyful at the words of our closing prayer today. YOU PRAY FOR ME. AMEN AMEN.

  21. What a beautiful reflection – and so meaningful for this time in our lives and world. Barbara’s imaginative description of the followers of Jesus in the Upper Room was so vivid I truly felt that I was there with them. And how eerily similar it is to us today, waiting in our Upper Rooms, unsure what our world will be like in the future. Thank you so much for this wonderful retreat!

  22. Lovely reflections and prayers, Barbara & Gretchen❤🙏. Maraming Salamat.
    Lord Jesus, the Beloved, thank you for praying for me.
    God the Father, the Omnipotent Lover, thank you for loving me.

    Dear Mother Mary, make me docile to the Holy Spirit so I may pray the way the Father wants me to.

    Come Holy Spirit, come 👼


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