The Inspiration of The Holy Spirit

Pentecost can be a bit of a difficult feast to appreciate. A feast dedicated to the Holy Spirit, often referred to as the “Third Person of the Holy Trinity,” is as elusive as relating to the elusive Spirit of God himself.

We can connect comparatively readily to the image of God the Father, and even the Son, though this nature can be a bit confusing, as we get closer to it. The Spirit, though, is very much a mystery, and appropriately so.

One traditional understanding of the character of the Holy Spirit is based on the relationship of the Father and Son; this is helpful, but perhaps does not seem to necessitate an entire feast. In this well-known formulation, the Holy
Spirit is described as the love that exists between God the Father and God the Son. Though this is a time-honored and very useful path to understanding the identity of the Holy Spirit, it can be hard to appreciate a concept as a Divine Person.

It could be helpful, though, to simply develop this very understanding a step or two further, with a little interpolation.

Wherever we typically read or hear the phrase “the love of God,” substitute “the Holy Spirit.” This brings us a step closer, perhaps, as it brings new meaning to the passage from the first letter of John, which is distilled in a contemporary hymn to say, “God is love, and all who live in love, live in God.” This makes the Holy Spirit a most welcome companion, as it ensures our nearness to God, which is the meaning of this life—this is why we were
created.

The Holy Spirit is also a comforter and a fresh wind in the heat of summer. When we are pressed, tested or wounded, the Holy Spirit remains near, bearing grace and the strength to endure and to grow.

Pursuing this just a step further, though, we can get even nearer to grasping the identity of the Holy Spirit by tying
in some of the plentiful Scriptural evidence.

In almost every instance, the Holy Spirit is mentioned when something is accomplished. In the beginning, the Spirit moved upon the waters and dry land appeared, for example. Much closer to home, every baptized person is cleansed by the Holy Spirit through the water of Baptism,and claimed for the Father. At each Mass, the Holy Spirit,riding the words of the priest, transforms simple and symbolic bread and wine into actual flesh and blood—that of Christ Jesus. We see the Holy Spirit doing, acting, moving.

Put simply, we could understand the Holy Spirit as the very Power of God. The Holy Spirit does the Father’s will, often communicating to us divine life (Grace), unknown and unnoticed: mysterious.

Therefore, we don’t know him when we see him or his handiwork. We lose sight of the Holy Spirit, distracted by the evidence. We’re rather quick to be tied up in the rustling of the leaves, as opposed to the breeze. The erosion we notice, but not as much the current. Thus we deal in concretes, but not in inspirations.

For a change then, attempt to observe the source of your best ideas—a hint: it probably isn’t you, as nice as it would be to take the credit. See in the move to help someone who has fallen the Spirit loving through you. See in the inclination to pray the Spirit seeking to pay homage to the Father with you. See in your impulse to refrain from a cross word the Spirit’s sanctification operating in you. Through/with/in, “in the unity of the Holy Spirit,” it is God’s very power present wherever God’s love is moving.

Lastly, don’t spurn those positive impulses or coincidences as merely nice ideas in a perfect world, or dumb luck. Accept them as God at work in your life, the Holy Spirit manipulating life around you, operating to bring about your good, better and ultimately best. You can even see those moments as the invitation to allow God to wield power/love through you.

When we stop writing off our simplest, best notions as silly “warm fuzzies” or some sort of naive or childish whim, we begin—just begin—to have faith in God the Holy Spirit, and our worship of God becomes the more complete for it.

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