The Holy Spirit in the Trinity and His Mission in the World

by Rev. William G. Most

We already said the most essential things about the Holy Spirit in explaining the first article of the Creed. Let us add a few things here.

He makes holy the souls of the just by His presence. But a Spirit is not present in the sense of taking up space. We say a Spirit is present wherever it causes an effect. In the soul, the Holy Spirit transforms it, making it basically capable of taking in, after death, the infinite streams of knowledge and love that flow within the Holy Trinity. Thus we are really "sharers in the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). This is a dignity so great that any earthly honor is insignificant beside it.

He comes with his Seven Gifts. These make the soul capable of taking in the special lights and inspirations He sends in a much higher way than what is had in ordinary graces. We do not notice much of any effects from these Gifts until we have advanced rather far in the spiritual life, for great docility and purity of heart are needed.

On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down visibly on the Apostles. He gave them the power to speak in strange tongues to the crowds that came to Jerusalem for that Feast. He also transformed them, from selfish and timid men into giants of courage and faith.

Taken from The Basic Catholic Catechism PART FOUR: The Apostle's Creed VI-VIII Eighth Article: "I believe in the Holy Spirit"
By William G. Most. (c)Copyright 1990 by William G. Most
Electronic text (c) Copyright EWTN 1997. All rights reserved.