The Holy Spirit is the most mysterious person of the Holy Trinity. We know He proceeds from the Father and He testifies to the Son. We know He spoke through the prophets. He is coeternal with the Father and Son. With the Father and Son, He is to be adored and glorified. Despite all of these truths, He is sometimes forgotten and less frequently prayed to. Why? Please read more.
I have written about the Holy Spirit many times before, but I feel compelled to write about Him again. We profess our belief in the Holy Spirit and we believe that He is one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, but do we really know Him? We believe that He has been at work with the Father and the Son from the beginning of time and He will be until the completion of the plan for salvation.
We cannot know God except through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reveals God to us. He also reveals Jesus to us. Although the Holy Spirit has revealed the Father and the Son to us, He does not speak of Himself.
Even though the Holy Spirit is consubstantial with the Father and the Son, and inseparable from them, He remains an enigma. He is known by many names and titles. This only adds to the mystery and probably causes us some confusion. In addition to being known as the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost, Jesus called Him the “Paraclete.” He is also known as the Advocate. Along with these proper names He is also known as the Spirit of the Promise, the Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Glory.
We truly only know the Holy Spirit through symbols and through His actions and movements. Symbolically, He has been represented to us through water, oil, fire, clouds, light, the seal, the hand, the finger, and as a dove. Through His movement, The Holy Spirit reveals the Word of God to us.
With all of the mystery surrounding the Holy Spirit, why is it important that we try to know Him better and try to understand Him more fully? To begin with, none of us can say “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. We could not be a Christian if it were not for the Holy Spirit. To be in touch with Jesus, the Holy Spirit must touch us first. Since we cannot know the Father without knowing the Son, the Holy Spirit is essential to our faith.
In Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Then He said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” These are the two greatest commandments. In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” As Christians, we want to love Jesus completely. We truly want to abide by these great commandments. Jesus knew we would need help, that is precisely why He sent us a helper. That Helper is the Holy Spirit.
As Christians we pray to Jesus. We also pray to our Heavenly Father. My question today is this: how often do we pray to the Holy Spirit? Many people have told me they rarely, if ever, pray to the Holy Spirit. Do you? Since the Holy Spirit is essential to our faith, we ought to pray to Him. Since the Holy Spirit is our helper, we ought to communicate with Him. Do we?
Many who read my weekly messages are likely familiar with the Holy Spirit prayer. Some of you may not be. This prayer is a good prayer to memorize. It goes like this:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of us your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen!
In addition to praying this prayer, I also find it comforting to listen to this Taizé song when reflecting on the Holy Spirit. Taizé is a prayerful form of music known for its simple, yet rich and meditative character. Taizé music often takes the structure of a simple melody that repeats over and over. It is meant to serve as a kind of musical centering prayer.
The phrase “Come Holy Spirit send the fire of your love” in Latin is “Veni Sancte Spiritus, tui amoris ignem accende.” The song Tui Amoris Ignem helps me to focus on the Holy Spirit. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful too.
How we choose to pray to the Holy Spirit will likely be different for each one of us. What matters most is that we do. In addition to revealing the Father and the Son to us, the Holy Spirit comes bearing gifts. Those gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. He also brings us these fruits: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I think we can all agree we need these gifts and fruits in our life, so let’s make a point to pray to the Holy Spirit every day!
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Without Him I would not know you. Without Him I would not know your Son. Without Him I would be a person of no faith. Without Him my life would lack meaning. When I am without words to pray, He prays and intercedes for me. Holy Spirit abide with me forever. Amen!
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