The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit

“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life…”

‘When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth (Jn16:12).’ The third section of the Creed affirms our faith in the Holy Spirit. It is God who gives life and when we confess that the Spirit is the ‘giver of life’ we recognise that the Spirit is God, like the Son and the Father.

In the creation account in the book of Genesis, the Spirit of God ‘hovers’ over the surface of the waters and brings forth life from the sterile salt-waste. This creation is ongoing and the Spirit is like God’s breath, animating and renewing things. ‘You send forth your spirit, they are created and you renew the face of the earth.’ (Psalm 104:30)

It is the same God who makes the universe, who comes among us a man, one like us, and who is continually present to the world. Creation and redemption are a single act, proceeding from a single God. Likewise the same Spirit which is involved in making the world, is also involved in remaking it. The Spirit gives life in the first place and also gives new life. As Jesus says of the Spirit: ‘He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that the Spirit will take what is mine and declare it to you. (Jn 16:14-15).

The Holy Spirit ‘dwells’ in us and guides us. The Spirit is given to us so that we may not be left orphans. In the world, the Spirit, by its gifts inspires people to good and to speak as prophets ‘moved by the Spirit.’ We know that we are sharing in the new life of the Spirit when we exercise his gifts (cf. 1 Corinthians 12) and when we exhibit the fruits of the Spirit (cf Galatians 5:22,23) in our lives: a wonder to behold!

The Spirit dwells in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful, as in a temple, ‘ with sighs too deeps for words’, the Holy Spirit prays on their behalf and bears witness to their adoptive sonship. By the power of the Gospel, the Spirit makes the Church keep the freshness of youth. (cf Lumen Gentium 4)

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