Manila Bulletin

The Holy Spirit


Our Lord was very interested in going back to heaven to send us the Holy Spirit to stay with us for the rest of creation. After His Ascension, the Apostles and Mary experience the coming of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit took the form of tongues of fire that landed on the heads of each one of them. With His assistance when the Apostles preached, they had special effects. In one big crowd, the listeners heard the words of the Apostles in their own native language. The Greeks heard it in Greek; the Romans heard in Latin; the various other listeners heard it in their native tongues. In a way the Holy Spirit is the neglected person of the Blessed Trinity. This is the first and most important mystery. It is the first example of things we cannot understand as we are not greater than God. The Holy Spirit has taken various forms – tongues of fire, a gentle wind, a white dove, and other forms.

The mystery of the Blessed Trinity says that there are three persons in one nature of God — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Son loves the Father and vice versa. And this love is the Holy Spirit. How to understand this is the mystery. This we believe and the foremost mystery of our faith. Mystics have spoken about the Holy Spirit vastly in helping them. Jesus assured us that the Holy

Spirit will be with us to help us. This we often forget.

He is present at every moment.

The sacrament of Confirmati­on was instituted to visualize the grant of the coming of the Holy Spirit on each one of us. Formerly a slap was part of the ceremony. It was there to remind us that the Holy Spirit will help us to remain constant in our faith in spite of persecutio­n. Like the early Christians it will be there to help us in persecutio­n even to the point of death. To be a Christian in the early days meant to be subject to death and other forms of persecutio­n. Now this no longer happens. But still we have the Holy Spirit to help us on our way to heaven. This we often forget. When we preach we say that it is the Holy Spirit that speaks through us.

It is unfortunat­e that we know so little of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was very concerned about us and He promised that He would send us the Holy Spirit to be with us to help us all the time. If you ask a Christian these days what he knows about the Holy Spirit and the answer would probably that he knows little or nothing about the Holy Spirit. And yet the Holy Spirit is here in our everyday life to help us in our way to heaven. We are besieged every moment with temptation­s and other difficulti­es. And the Holy Spirit is present to help us but we ignore Him. This is unfortunat­e.

We should ask for His help and ask Him to teach us to love God and secondly to love our neighbor. And this is no easy matter. But with the help of the Holy Spirit we can do it.

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