Fr. Scott Haynes
Groanings of the Holy Spirit
Fr. Scott A. Haynes
A MEDITATION ON ROMANS 8:26-27
Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For, we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings, and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what the Spirit desireth: because he asketh for the saints according to God.
In his Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul writes:
“We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings.” 
Indeed, that same Holy Spirit intercedes for us in the Sacraments which Christ has given to His Church,  but preeminently in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the source and summit of all the other Sacraments. And wherever the Holy Mass is offered according to the mind of our Holy Mother the Church, we know that we are worshipping “in spirit and in truth.” 
Because God, the Holy Spirit, loves us so intensely, He wants to intercede for us in every moment and in every situation – not just for one hour on Sunday. And if we need a model for this we must turn to Our Lady, for she is truly the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. No one was so well-disposed to intercession of the Holy Spirit as the Blessed Virgin. St. Augustine explains:
“The Blessed Virgin Mary, was the only one who merited to be called the Mother and Spouse of God.” 
Mary became the Mother of God (Theotokos)  and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, as the Archangel Gabriel said:
“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee.” 
St. Gabriel's words at the Annunciation reveal the mysterious plan of God, as he proclaims the divine manner in which she would become a mother, the Mother of the Son of God.
At that moment, the Holy Spirit, who had already possessed Mary’s soul from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception,  came upon her with such exceptional plenitude that He formed within her the sacred Body of Jesus. Justly, therefore, does Mary deserve the name of Spouse of the Holy Spirit: she is His possession, His sanctuary, His temple. The Divine Paraclete  may well say to her in the words of the Canticle:
“My sister, my spouse, is a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed up.” 
Mary is a garden enclosed because she was never defiled— even for an instant—by the shadow of sin, was never subject to the winds of unruly passions, never taken up with any affection for creatures. St. John of the Cross  observed:
“The most glorious Virgin, our Lady never had the form of any creature imprinted on her soul, and was never moved by any creature, but her actions were always inspired by the Holy Spirit.” 
Filled with grace from her conception, Mary is always the faithful Spouse of the Holy Spirit, attentive and docile to all His impulses and inspirations. Though Mary’s sublime privileges  are reserved for her alone, we can, nevertheless, imitate her interior dispositions by keeping our heart, in imitation of hers, always attentive and docile to the action of the Holy Spirit.
If we examine the joyful mysteries of the Holy Rosary we can see this intercession of the Holy Spirit realized in the life of Our Lady. Take, for example, the first mystery, the Annunciation of Mary. In this mystery, we must acknowledge that Mary’s consent was one of the most important moments in salvation history. And that grace of Mary’s fiat  would not have been possible without the abundant grace and loving intercession of the Holy Spirit.
Glancing back at the Garden of Eden to the beginning of salvation history, we see Satan, an angel from hell, approaching Eve. Satan has an evil intention. He intends to lead mankind away from God.
What a contrast to the scene of the Annunciation, where the holy Archangel Gabriel, God’s messenger from heaven, appears to Mary, the New Eve.  Gabriel does not come with an evil intention. No! He comes to lead mankind back to God. St. Gabriel brought God’s message of salvation to Mary and said:
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” 
And at this angelic salutation, all the angels and saints of heaven held their breath. And as they held their breath, the divine breath of the Holy Spirit breathed on Our Lady. Mary gave her ‘Yes’ to God. In Latin, Mary’s words are rendered:
Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum (“Be it done unto me according to thy word.”) 
Friends, when we say “yes” to God like Mary, we allow God’s grace to be fruitful in us, to break into our history—our personal salvation history. When we say “no,” like Eve, God’s plan is aborted. Eve’s womb bore the fruit of Death. But as the new Eve, Mary’s womb bore the fruit of Life!
Did you know an interesting link exists between Mary’s fiat – Mary’s “yes” at the Annunciation — and the Priest’s words of Consecration at Holy Mass? As soon as Mary said, “Be it done unto me according to thy word,” Christ became present in her womb by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.
When the ordained priest takes the bread at Mass and says, “This is My Body,”  Our Lord becomes present on the Altar by the overshadowing of the same Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit, St. John in his Gospel tells us “The Word became flesh.”  At the Holy Mass, the Holy Spirit overshadows the Altar, the Priest speaks the words of Christ and once again, “The Word becomes flesh!” The Holy Spirit of God that overshadowed Mary at the Annunciation is the same Spirit of God, the Ruah Hakodesh,  that moved over the waters at the genesis of creation.
In his Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul says:
“We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings.”