The Sanctifier, the Paraclete, the
Finger of God, the Interior Master, Gift of Gifts, The Third Person of the
Blessed Trinity, The bond of love
uniting the Father and Son, the Helper, Advocate, the Secret Friend—all of
these are titles given to the Third Person of the most Blessed Trinity, the
As Saint Paul came on a missionary
journey to Ephesus, he asked some of the people there if they had received the
Holy Spirit. Their response could easily be seen in the light of the present
situation with respect to the lack of knowledge of the faith, and the lack of
knowledge of the Holy Spirit in general: “We did not even know that there was a
Holy Spirit.”(Acts 19: 1-8)
We have never lived in a world with
so much information. However, at the same time, we have never lived in a world
with so much widespread confusion—effect of sin and the Tower of Babel!
Therefore, we would like to offer a
short essay on how we can grow in our knowledge, love and friendship with the
Holy Spirit, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls Him—“The Gift of
Gifts!” Let us freely receive this Gift into the depths of our hearts, minds,
souls, understandings and allow Him to permeate us with His Presence and take
total possession of our lives. A gift is
a gift and it can be freely received or freely rejected. Let us open our entire
beings to receive this greatest Gift, God Himself!
Hopefully these short suggestions can
be of great help to unite you more closely to the Holy Spirit. Be ready and
willing to share the knowledge that you have received freely. If we have received freely then we should
give freely! The following are ten short points or ideas to enhance your
knowledge, love and docility to the Holy Spirit.
PRAYER. Never allow a day to pass in which you fail
to say at least a short prayer to the Holy Spirit. Here is a short one that can
be memorized easily: “Come Holy Spirit come through the Heart of Mary.” Say
this prayer often and with great faith and love. Consequently, the Holy Spirit will be more
active in your life.
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. Read through the book in the Bible that
follows the Gospel of St. John
attributed to Saint Luke, the Acts of the Apostles. This book has been called “The Gospel of the
Holy Spirit.” Be keenly observant of how
many times the Holy Spirit is mentioned in this spiritual masterpiece. See also the different ways that the Holy
Spirit works in the primitive Church.
You might even underline with your pencil the number of times the Holy
Spirit is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. Allow the Holy Spirit to enter more fully
into your life by meditating on the Word of God.
NOVENA. Get into the habit of making novenas. One of the most powerful novenas in the
history of the world was precisely the novena in preparation for the coming of
the Holy Spirit that first Pentecost.
The Apostles prayed and fasted nine days and nights in union with the
Blessed Virgin Mary. Then there was an extraordinary phenomenon that occurred:
wind, and fire descended upon the heads of the Apostles, transforming them into
fiery lovers of Jesus, ready to shed their blood for the sake of the His name!
(Read Acts chapter 2)
SYMBOLS. Get to know the various symbols that the
church has given to get to know the Holy Spirit better. The Catechism of the
Catholic Church gives several of them: Fire, Cloud, the Dove, and Wind, Water.
Oil, The Seal, A Finger, A Lamp. Symbols
are physical realities that point to a more profound spiritual reality. (CCC 694-701)
READING ON THE HOLY SPIRIT. One of
the books that I highly recommend is “The
School of the Holy Spirit” written by Jacques Philippe. A short but superb masterpiece on the topic
of the Holy Spirit, Philippe invites us to pursue the path of holiness by the simple
path of being docile to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, wants to
make us saints, if we only allow Him to operate freely in our lives.
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. At the moment of Baptism we receive the seven
Gifts of the Holy Spirit; then the Sacrament of Confirmation fortifies these
wonderful gifts. Get to know them; pray
that they become more operative in your life; your sanctification and salvation
depends on this deep union with the Holy Spirit and His Gifts.
THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY
SPIRIT. If you are floundering in
“no-man’s land” as to what the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the following is your
cheat sheet. Try to memorize them: Wisdom, Knowledge, Understanding, Counsel,
Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord.
According to Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, Wisdom is the
greatest of all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which can be defined as relishing
the things of God. If you like the Psalmist sums wisdom up in these concise
words: “Taste and see the goodness of
the Lord.” (Psalm 34)
FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Traditionally the fruits of the Holy Spirit
are twelve, even though Saint Thomas Aquinas says these are not all inclusive.
The following are the traditional twelve: charity ( or love), joy, peace,
patience, benignity (or kindness), goodness, longanimity (or long suffering),
mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity. Saint Thomas states that when we are
corresponding to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and carrying out God’s will in
our lives then we experience this interior sweetness in our soul; these are the
fruits of the Holy Spirit.
RECOVERY OF THE PERSON OF THE HOLY
SPIRIT. A moral tragedy could occur in
our lives: falling into mortal sin! If you have fallen into the mud of mortal
sin in your life, then never give into despair, but trust God all the more
fully. By committing a mortal sin we
willingly expel the Holy Spirit from our souls. However, the Good News is this:
CONFESSION! By making a good sacramental
confession to the priest then not only does God’s grace return to our souls but
also the Holy Spirit returns as the Sweet Guest of your soul.
10.OUR LADY AND THE HOLY
SPIRIT. Mary had the deepest and closest
relationship to the Holy Spirit after Jesus Himself. The Immaculate Conception, in which Our Lady
was preserved from the stain of Original Sin, was the work of the Holy
Spirit. The Virginal Conception of Jesus
in the womb of Mary was due to the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. The birthday of the Church on that first
Pentecost, in which the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in tongues of
fire came about in the presence of Our Lady. Her powerful prayers facilitated
the coming of the Holy Spirit and the advent of the missionary Church. Our Lady has a deep and intimate relationship
to the Blessed Trinity. She is the Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of
God the Son and she is the Mystical Spouse of the Holy Spirit. For this reason Saint Louis de Montfort
expresses in his words of great enthusiasm:
“Those who love Mary, the Holy Spirit flings Himself into those
souls.” May Our Lady attain for you a
renewed Pentecost and powerful infusion of the Holy Spirit. “Come Holy Spirit
come through the Heart of Mary.”