The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. The Trinity is a truth revealed by God yet remains a mystery to man and thus impossible to explain in human terms. God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three distinct Persons yet one God.
What is the Holy Spirit’s Role?
The Holy Spirit is the sanctifier, who was sent by the Father and Son to complete the work of the Son. He makes “holy.” The Holy Spirit was sent to sanctify the Church forever so that believers might have access to the Father through Christ in one Spirit” (Eph 2: 18).
The Delightful Guest of Your Soul
The Bible tells you of this indwelling of the Holy Spirit:
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” John 14:23
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16
“If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Romans 8:9
“Because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:17)
No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us of his Spirit.
Why does The Holy Spirit dwell in us?
The basic reason this gift from God dwells in us is Love. The Holy Spirit is the Love of God. Through Love, he leads us to the Son, who leads us to the Father. The Holy Spirit is the fire from within you that transforms you into the likeness of Jesus. Through Jesus, we give glory to the Father. The Holy Spirit united with our soul moves us. Through the Holy Spirit, the soul becomes perfected.
As a gift it is within our power to use Him and enjoy Him. To Enjoy God gift is the root of our happiness. It is Heaven on earth.
Perceive The Holy Spirit
The voice of the Spirit is gentle. To perceive Him the soul needs silence and peace. We must bravely detach ourselves from all creatures from every affection. Empty your souls so that the Divine Spirit may enter. “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Matthew 6:21). This attention to the Holy Spirit is accomplished through Faith, Hope, and Charity.
A life devoted to the Holy Spirit must be founded on Faith.
Faith points out the path for us. Hope gives us unfailing support.
Note: Charity (Agapē) is the unconditional love that brings forth caring regardless of the circumstance. God is full of charitable love.
The Holy Spirit is the infinite and personal Love of God.
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Our Love of the Father Glorifies Him.
Our Love of the Son transforms ourselves into Him.
Our Love of the Holy Spirit lets us be possessed and moved by Him.
The Holy Spirit Leads You to Jesus Christ
“No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” Now God’s Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, “the world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees him nor knows him,” while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them. (Jn 14:17).
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit is always at work prompting us and leading us
to greater purity, greater love, and greater holiness. However, even with
the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, our hearts can remain
insensitive to the Holy Spirit. The seven Gifts are the remedy for this
dullness. They enhance the powers of the soul and make our hearts more
sensitive to God so that we can easily and consistently follow the
movements and inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
The prophet Isaiah speaks of these seven Gifts when he writes,
prophesying about the coming of Christ (the “flower of Jesse”):
A branch will sprout from the root of Jesse, and from his root
a flower will rise up: and the spirit of the Lord will rest upon
him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of
counsel and of fortitude, a spirit of knowledge and of piety,
and he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and descriptions outlined by St. Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologica, the seven gifts are as follows:
- Wisdom: We see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of life take on a deeper meaning. We see God as our Father, appreciate the dignity of others, and find God in all things.
- Understanding: In understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as followers of Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live. By means of the gift of understanding, we contemplate hidden things while we are still on earth. It reveals the truth to us.
We have a perfect knowledge of our end and our will is bound to it for essentially we already possess the ultimate end by possessing God in our heart.
- Counsel (Right Judgment): With the gift of counsel/right judgment, we know the difference between right and wrong, and we choose to do what is right. A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives out the values taught by Jesus. It does not come from our human reason or intelligence but comes from above as a gift of eternal reason from the mind of God.
- Fortitude (Courage): With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or physical harm. The gift of courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil.
- Knowledge: With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God. The gift of knowledge is more than an accumulation of facts. The Bible tells us the vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! (Ecclesiastes 1:2). No matter how much we strive to fill our hearts with material things or human efforts, it will never be. They are vain efforts: we are born for greater, higher satisfaction. Sooner or later we find emptiness and bitterness. But as many Saints show us, a complete transformation is known to Christians as a conversion, we suddenly have a profound conviction of the vanity of things. This is the fruit of the gift of “knowledge”
- Piety (Reverence): With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the Church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. Piety is the gift whereby, at the Holy Spirit’s instigation, we pay worship and duty to God as our Father, Aquinas writes.
- Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe): With the gift of fear of the Lord we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with wonder and awe knows that God is the perfection of all we desire: perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love. This gift is described by Aquinas as fear of separating oneself from God. He describes the gift as a “filial fear,” like a child’s fear of offending his father, rather than a “servile fear,” that is, a fear of punishment. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7) because it puts our mindset in the correct location with respect to God: we are the finite, dependent creatures, and He is the infinite, all-powerful Creator
There are many other gift or Charisms of the Holy Spirit listed in the Holy Bible. In any one set of scripture the lists are not intended to be an exhaustive list but give examples. These are gifts that are given by God to increase or grow the Church.
|Romans 12:6-8||1 Corinthians 12:8-10||1 Corinthians 12:28||Ephesians 4:11||1 Peter 4:11|
|Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.||To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongue. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.||God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues.||And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers||Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever.|
How do we obtain the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
The seven Gifts, like the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, are given to us in Holy Baptism. Once given they enhance the soul and exist as new, supernatural faculties or powers. Unlike the natural
faculties, however, the Gifts depend directly upon God for their exercise.
We have by nature the power to think and reason (for example), but when
we are brought to life by God’s grace we are endowed with the Gifts as supernatural faculties, senses (as it were) that make possible our life as new spiritual creatures.
Excerpt from “True Devotion to the Holy Spirit” Luis M. Martinez