The Holy Spirit

News: Commentary
by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  May 21, 2021   

Who He is and His role in the Church

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He is described by Our Lord as the comforter. And in these increasingly perilous times, Catholics need more God-given comfort and strength.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity — equally God with the Father and the Son yet distinct from the Father and the Son. He is divine, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son.

Christ's mission on earth was to proclaim the Father, and it's the Holy Spirit's mission to proclaim the Son. It is, in turn, the Catholic Church that proclaims the Holy Spirit's mission and the place where the Holy Spirit is active. He is also called the Spirit of Truth, the Creator Spirit and the Sanctifier — along with many other terms.

It is the Holy Spirit who breathes supernatural life within a soul at baptism, enabling the Holy Trinity to dwell within it.

The Holy Spirit gives grace to the words and actions of the priest when he declares "I absolve you" in the sacrament of penance. At the moment of consecration at Mass, the Holy Spirit acts upon the words of the priest "this is my body" and "this is my blood," changing the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

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In the sacrament of confirmation, the Holy Spirit confirms the soul in grace, making it a soldier of God. He arms souls with his gifts, the virtues of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

It is with the frequent practice of those virtues that the Holy Spirit also helps us to participate in the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity.

The upcoming Solemnity of Pentecost, taking place 50 days after Easter, is the birthday of the Church. It's when the Apostles emerged from the upper room after nine days of prayer, empowered and enlivened by the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who breathes supernatural life within a soul at baptism, enabling the Holy Trinity to dwell within it.

The Third Person of the Holy Trinity was the great facilitator of the Church from the beginning. When the previously fearful St. Peter preached to the 3,000 who converted on Pentecost, not only were his newfound fortitude and zeal made evident, but also all the foreigners who were present understood his words in their own native tongues.

The Holy Spirit still speaks for Christ in the beauty of the liturgy, in the saving power of the sacraments themselves and in the unwavering truth of the doctrines taught by the Church.

Learn more by watching The Download — The Holy Spirit.

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