Once a week I attend a study group which focuses on the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”. This past week, we covered Chapter 3: “I believe in the Holy Spirit”. It really got me thinking….
What do I know of the Holy Spirit? Well, I know that I received the Holy Spirit at baptism and again at confirmation. I know that the Holy Spirit gives all of us many gifts; the most important is that the Spirit reveals Jesus and the faith to us. I know that the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. I know that it was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Mary conceived the Son of God and also that this same Son was raised from the dead. The Holy Spirit has been at work with God the Father and God the Son throughout all time in a divine plan for our salvation.
I can picture God the Father. I see an old, fatherly Man with a long white beard. I have no trouble thinking of God as my Father. I love Him like my own earthly father.
I can picture God the Son. I see Jesus. I can picture Him at all stages of His earthly life; from a tiny baby in a manger to the Risen and Glorified Jesus Christ. I have no trouble thinking of Jesus as my Friend, my Redeemer. I love Him and daily thank Him for his sacrifice.
But, when trying to picture God, the Holy Spirit, I see a Dove. The Dove is silent and usually descending from above. This impersonal picture made me feel guilty. I want to have a devotion to all three persons of the Trinity; however, I did not know how to picture this Spirit in my mind as a God that has a relationship with me and a God that I could speak with. I pray the “Come Holy Spirit” prayer every day, yet I wanted a connection, the same connection I felt with the Father and the Son.
I went to bed the night of my study group feeling guilty and troubled, thinking maybe I was letting the Holy Spirit down. The Holy Spirit was such an important force in my life – I needed to know that I could be devoted properly to this “Paraclete” or “Consoler”.
In the middle of the night I awoke. Laying in my bed my mind was still pondering thoughts of the Holy Spirit. It was then that the Spirit spoke to my heart. I suddenly saw the Spirit as a Dove; not descending from above, but a Dove that was nestled in my heart. A Dove that was silent; yet spoke to my heart. A Dove that dwells within me, guiding me, teaching me, giving me counsel and comfort. Suddenly, everything seemed clear. What a gift the Spirit bestowed on me! I am so grateful and humbled. It is true that we only have to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance – He will answer and guide.
Jesus is the Word of God. The Spirit is the Breath. We are the adopted children of God the Father, in the Mystical Body of His Son, Jesus Christ; the Spirit dwells within each of us and reveals the fullness of all truth.
John 3:5 “I am telling you the truth replied Jesus, that no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Spirit.”
O Holy Spirit, sweet Guest of my soul, abide in me and grant that I may ever abide in Thee. Amen.
Pray to the Holy Spirit every day!