Jan 122016

“Who is the Holy Spirit and what is His role in our lives?”

For many lay Catholics, the third member of the Trinity is the one we know the least about. The most many of us know about Him is what we profess in the Creed at Mass:

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.

The goal of this episode is to go a little deeper and BRIEFLY introduce you to the Holy Spirit. If you come away from this episode with more questions about the Holy Spirit than you have now, then I have achieved my goal. Lumen Gentium 4 goes into going much deeper into exploring the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church.

Also in this episode, we have a quote from the patron saint of diocesan priests and we are going to learning about entering the classroom of silence.

Lumen Gentium Text

This text from Vatican II document Lumen Gentium is the basis for the content of this episode:

“…this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit…” §01 ¶01

Episode Quote

Saint John Vianney “If the damned were asked: Why are you in Hell? they would answer: For having resisted the Holy Spirit. And if the saints were asked, Why are you in Heaven? they would answer: For having listened to the Holy Spirit.” ~ Saint John Vianney

Who is the Holy Spirit

Trinity Shield

  • Introduction to the Holy Spirit from the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraphs 683-747
  • “Holy Spirit is the proper name of the one whom we adore and glorify with the Father and the Son.” ~ CCC 691
  • Holy is not the Spirit’s first name, in the same way “of Nazareth” is not Jesus’ last name.
    • Holy means “to be set apart,” “to be different,” “reserved for something special.”
    • Holy Spirit in Latin is “Spiritu Sancto.” Sancto comes from sānctus, which is the root of our words “holy,” “consecrate,” and “sacred.”
    • Spiritu translates to “spirit,” which comes from the Hebrew word ruach meaning “breath,” “air,” or “wind.”
  • The order the Trinity is not listed by importance but in the order revealed to us in Scripture.
  • “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!” ~ Deuteronomy 6:4
  • Holy Spirit is often seen in art as a dove because of Luke 3:22 “the holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove.” Following Act 2:3, fire is another symbol. This image of the Holy Spirit is from Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.
  • “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3) “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Galatians 4:6) This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.” ~ CCC 683
    • We can only come to understand Jesus as Lord of our life when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us.
    • Only by the prompting of the Holy Spirit could Peter declare Jesus as the Christ. (Matthew 16:15-17)
    • We must learn to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit and trust in Him to be able to spend forever in Heaven.
    • Can you learn to relate to God, the Father as Abba? Read “The Shack” for an interesting insight into this relationship.
    • Lay Catholic must learn to be comfortable with the Holy Spirit because it is through Him that we can be touched by Jesus.
    • We received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism (John 3:5CCC 1265) in what is called Actual Grace.
    • While we have been given this grace, we are under no obligation to take advantage of it. Another grace given to angels and humans is freewill. God wants you to spend forever with Him put He gives you the choice to do as you please.
    • Sanctifying Grace is when we use our freewill to choose to live a life worthy of our calling to follow the teachings of Jesus. This is the justification that Saint Paul talks about when we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to develop that personal relationship with Jesus. These are NOT just Protestant ideas, these are Christian ways of living.
    • Saintly suggestions of living a life that will help develop sanctifying grace with us.
      • Attend Mass at least weekly. Once you have this habit established, work toward getting to some daily Masses.
      • Seek the healing of regular confession at least monthly.
      • Study the Scriptures and the writings of the Church fathers.
      • Pray the Rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours each day.
      • By opening to changing your life to become more like Jesus by following the example of Saint John Baptist, “[Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease.”
      • Serve others, in particular those who can never pay you back.
      • Pray from your heart the opening line of the Prayer to the Holy Spirit: “Come Holy Spirit, fill my heart and kindle in me the fire of Your love.”


  • Spend time in the classroom of silence each day.


May you be open to receiving the blessings that the Father has for you.
May you be open to conforming yourself to the image of Christ, the light of nations.
May you be open to the boldness of the Holy Spirit guiding you to live a life worthy of your calling.
May you be seeking God’s will for your life and doing what brings Him greater glory.
And I ask for these blessing on you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God!
Saint George Preca, pray for us!