Who is the Holy Spirit?

May 12, 2008

Fr. Joseph Gallatin, St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church, rural Delano

Recently, we celebrated Pentecost in the church. This feast day, that celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit, was exceptionally early this year (coming as it did on Mother’s Day, May 11) because Easter was early.

Pentecost is the 50th and final day of the season of Easter, and it gives us a chance to contemplate the Holy Spirit. He is probably the most difficult person of the Holy Trinity to grasp, and so it would not be surprising if a lot of Christians would forget that He even exists.

When Jesus was still with His disciples, He told them that He would send “another Advocate,” and that Advocate is the Holy Spirit. It is He who guides us and teaches us.

He was with the Father and the Son at the very beginning of all things, but He was not revealed until He descended upon Mary and the apostles at Pentecost. It was only at that time that the mystery of the Trinity was revealed in its fullness.

Francis Fernandez, in his wonderful meditation series called “In Conversation With God,” offers us some insights about the indwelling of the Holy Trinity:

“We should learn to become better and better friends of God who is dwelling within us. Through this divine presence, our soul becomes a miniature heaven. Reflection on that thought can help us enormously.

“At Baptism, the three persons of the most Blessed Trinity came into our souls: they want to be closer to us throughout our lives than the closest of friends . . . we should recall His presence within us in the midst of our daily activity, when we’re going from place to place, to thank Him, to ask Him for help, to atone for the sins we commit against Him every day.” (In Conversation With God, vol. II, p. 472).

So God actually dwells in each person who is baptized – God the Father, God the Son (who has been named Jesus since He became incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary), and God the Holy Spirit. How good it would be to remember that fact whenever we pray!