The Holy Spirit
The Lord and Giver of Life
What is the Holy Spirit? Is a question asked of Christians but for us the question should be “who” because the Holy Spirit is a person, a divine person, of the Holy Trinity. We say that the Holy Spirit is “consubstantial” with the Father and the Son, and with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified. To be “consubstantial” means that God the Holy Spirit is of the same divine substance or the same divine nature as the Father and the Son.
The Holy Spirit is God and has therefore always existed. We see Him present in the Old and New Testaments of the bible for instance in Genesis at the creation when the Spirit moves over the waters or in the New Testament at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit depends upon the Apostles. But it’s also important to point out that the age we are in now, the age after the life, death, resurrection and ascension of the Son, is especially the age of the Holy Spirit! This is the time when the Holy Spirit is especially active in our world and in the Church.
It is the Holy Spirit who is given to us in baptism. At that time, we are made adopted children of the Father, we are made one in Jesus the Son, and we are filled with the Holy Spirit to live out our new Christian calling as sons and daughters of God in Christ Jesus.
Every time we pray it is from a prompting of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit also has the unique role of animating the Church in our day and age. The “Church” here means everyone who is alive in Christ.
The Catechism outlines how we can come to know the Holy Spirit:
—in the Scriptures he inspired;
—in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
—in the Church’s Magisterium (official church teaching), which he assists;
—in the sacramental liturgy, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;
—in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;
—in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;
—in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
—in the witness of saints.
Drawing closer to Him
The Holy Spirit being the animator of both the Church and the individual Christian gives us all the Grace necessary to become Saints, to become better Christians. He gives us seven gifts: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. It is important then for us to always draw close to the Holy Spirit, yet of course through the sure ways we know of His action above, but also personally. We should have a profound intimacy with the Holy Spirit who was united to us at Baptism. Do you ever pray to the Holy Spirit directly? Asking Him to help us to pray is a good way to start. We would invoke the Holy Spirit to direct us in all major decisions of life.
[The Holy Spirit] is present as a whole to each and wholly present everywhere. He is portioned out impassably and participated in as a whole. He is like a sunbeam whose grace is present to the one who enjoys him as if he were present to such a one alone, and still he illuminates land and sea and is mixed with the air…”
Prayers to the Holy Spirit
O Holy Spirit,
Soul of my soul,
I adore You!
strengthen, and console me.
Tell me what I ought to do,
and command me to do it.
I promise to submit myself
to all that You desire of me
and to accept, all that You
permit to happen to me.
Just make me know Your Will.
(Prayer of Cardinal Mercier)
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 will renew
the face of the earth.
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts
of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice
in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ
Our emphasis is on sacramental worship (the Mass or Holy Eucharist) celebrated in a traditional Anglo-Catholic style, with strong orthodox teaching and preaching, supportive pastoral care, a caring parish family, and responsibility to our community and the greater world.
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