Come, Holy Spirit
Happy (Day After) the Feast of thePentacost!
The great love between God the Father and God the Son is manifested in the Holy Spirit. The third person of the Holy Trinity has come down upon us and dwells within us. How miraculous!
Many people have expressed to me that they do not really have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. He is also the least spoken about Person in the Holy Trinity. Perhaps, therein lies the problem. We tend to associate the images of fire, wind, and a dove to the Holy Spirit. This is understandable since He appeared as a dove at the Baptism of the Lord and as tongues of fire, preceded by wind, at Pentacost. It would help us to remember that He is the third Person in the Holy Trinity. We have relationships with people, which is why we tend to lean more to Jesus, and God, the Father. Though, we do not know exactly what God looks like, we have an earthly father, so it is easier for us to relate. Yet, we should not forget the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Trinity.
Who Is The Holy Spirit?
Tim Staples was a Baptist who desperately tried to disapprove the Catholic faith. However, through intense studies and prayer he found the truth in Catholicism. Ever since, has been working in apologetics and evangelizations. He writes about this topic.
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
“There are three key points to be made here.
- “The Counselor” is ho paracleto in Greek which is masculine, not neuter.
- When the text says he will teach you all things the demonstrative pronoun (Gr. ekeinos) is used in the masculine singular. This is very significant because the inspired author could have used the neuter ekeino, but he did not. If the Holy Spirit were an impersonal force, the inspired author would not refer to “it” as a “he.”
- Notice what the Holy Spirit does. Jesus says he will both teach and remind us “all that [he has] said to [us].” Action follows being. One cannot “teach” and “remind” if one does not have the intellectual powers unique to rational persons that enable one to do so! The Holy Spirit is here clearly revealed to be a person.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit is referred to in personal terms by our Lord throughout the New Testament. If we only consider John chapters 14, 15 and 16, the evidence is overwhelming. This is not to mention the abundance of examples we could cite throughout the Scriptures, both Old (in seed form) and New Testaments. Here are some more examples to add to John 14:26 already mentioned.
In John 14:16-17, Jesus says,
And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, Spirit of truth, who the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.
In John 15:26, Jesus says, But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you also are witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.
And in John 16:7-13, Jesus makes it very plain,
Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you (emphasis added).
The Holy Spirit is clearly personal. He “convinces of sin,” “teaches” the truth, “speaks,” “declares things that are to come,” etc. There is no doubt as to the person of the Holy Spirit in these texts.”
So, it is clear from these passages that He is God, He is a Person, and He dwells within us.
When I asked several people how they would draw the Holy Spirit, they said a dove, fire of love, a phoenix, and a floating Spirit. No one imagined the Holy Spirit as a person. The closest was a floating Spirit. He is our Teacher, Advocate, Counselor, and Comforter. I feel the warmth/love of the Holy Spirit more than I picture Him. If I had to draw Him, I would imagine a benevolent and wise faced man with a Spirit like body. His face would shine with unbelievable light and glory.
I hope this helps you think of the Holy Spirit as the third person of God and in turn it will lead to an even closer relationship with Him.
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states: The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations. (CCC, 1831)
It is important to remember that these are freely given to us, which is why they are called gifts. We receive them first at Baptism and they are fully ignited at Confirmation. We can ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in these gifts and we should nourish ourselves with God’s Word, receiving the sacraments worthily, Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, praying the Rosary, and quiet time with the Blessed Sacrament (just a few examples) in order to provide a spiritually enriched soul for them to prosper. As the CCC says, these gifts help us to be more able to heed the Holy Spirit’s requests. It may be a feeling to call/write to someone, help those less fortunate, begin a new ministry, take care of a family member, defend the faith, or provide encouragement.
Fruits of the Holy Spirit
“Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:17-20)
This passage in Matthew’s Gospel helps us to understand the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are the observable behaviors of people who have allowed the grace of the Holy Spirit to be effective in them. The tradition of the Church lists 12 fruits:
(adapted from CCC 1832)
There is a great deal more that I could share with you related to the Holy Spirit, but I hope and pray that you desire to study more about Him and draw ever closer. He is God, the third person of the Trinity, and He dwells within us. Ask Him to help you strengthen a particular gift or virtue. At the end of the day when you examine your conscience, implore the Holy Spirit to shed light on the times when you fell short and entreat Him to strengthen you in the gifts/virtues needed to not make the same mistake again. May you be aware of Him in all your daily thoughts and actions and may you bear good fruit all the days of your life.
A beautiful article from Fr. William Saunders about the Gifts- https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/gifts-of-the-holy-spirit.html
It just so happens that the Sisters of Life and the Dominican Friars are providing an amazing 7 day Free Retreat about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Day 1 started yesterday. You can sign-up here. https://sistersoflife.org/events/unleashing-fire-a-virtual-pentecost-retreat/ The Sisters of Life are not on social media so they kindly ask us to PLEASE spread the word!
https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=336 Lovely prayers to the Holy Spirit. I am particularly fond of #2.
Thank you very much for your kind words and encouragement. Please contact me if you have any thoughts or ideas on topics you would like me to cover. I would love to hear from you and I would be grateful if you would share this blog with others. May the Holy Spirit fill you with His peace and joy. I am praying for you!
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.