Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate the lovely feast of the Most Blessed Trinity – Three Persons in One God.
Tim Staples at Catholic Answers writes: “The third person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is sometimes referred to as “the forgotten” member of the Godhead. He is, no doubt, the least spoken of among the three persons of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…”
And he concludes his excellent article thus: “The Holy Spirit is revealed here to be both a person and divine. He is depicted as “bear[ing] witness,” “establish[ing] a covenant,” is referred to as “the Lord,” “puts [his] laws on [our] hearts,” and even forgives sins. How many Catholics realize when they recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday at Mass that they are clearly and concisely professing just what we see here in Scripture: The Holy Spirit truly is “the Lord and Giver of Life.””
The main reason we have difficulty in discovering “the Lord and Giver of Life” is because our divided hearts find ‘refuge, strength, and glory’ apart from Him in our diverse earthly attractions. None of these ‘attractions’ fully satisfy Man’s deepest longings for God for Whom we were created (which is in reality an innate longing for Love – to love and be loved). Anything less than His close presence will never satisfy, so how can we take steps to love God more whole-heartedly, to welcome the Holy Spirit into our innermost being to teach us to make God our first love, our greatest treasure?
In his Encyclical, Divinum Illud Munus, 9 May 1897, Pope Leo XIII states:
“We ought to pray to and invoke the Holy Ghost, for each one of us greatly needs His protection and His help. The more a man is deficient in wisdom, weak in strength, borne down with trouble, prone to sin, so ought he the more to fly to Him who is the never-ceasing fount of light, strength, consolation, and holiness.
The Forgiveness of Sins
And chiefly that first requisite of man, the forgiveness of sins, must be sought for from Him: “It is the special character of the Holy Ghost that He is the Gift of the Father and the Son. Now the remission of all sins is given by the Holy Ghost as by the Gift of God” (Summ. Th. 3a, q. iii., a. 8, ad 3m). Concerning this Spirit the words of the Liturgy are very explicit: “For He is the remission of all sins” (Roman Missal, Tuesday after Pentecost)
Sweet Guest of the Soul
How He should be invoked is clearly taught by the Church, who addresses Him in humble supplication, calling upon Him by the sweetest of names: “Come, Father of the poor! Come, Giver of gifts! Come, Light of our hearts! O, best of Consolers, sweet Guest of the soul, our refreshment!” (Veni Sancte Spiritus). She earnestly implores Him to wash, heal, water our minds and hearts, and to give to us who trust in Him “the merit of virtue, the acquirement of salvation, and joy everlasting.” Nor can it be in any way doubted that He will listen to such prayer, since we read the words written by His own inspiration: “The Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings” (Rom 8., 26).
The Pledge of Our Inheritance
Lastly, we ought confidently and continually to beg of Him to illuminate us daily more and more with His light and inflame us with His charity: for, thus inspired with faith and love, we may press onward earnestly towards our eternal reward, since He “is the pledge of our inheritance” (Eph 1, 14). . . .
With the Blessed Virgin Mary
Unite, then, Venerable Brethren, your prayers with Ours, and at your exhortation let all Christian peoples add their prayers also, invoking the powerful and ever-acceptable intercession of the Blessed Virgin. You know well the intimate and wonderful relations existing between her and the Holy Ghost, so that she is justly called His Spouse. The intercession of the Blessed Virgin was of great avail both in the mystery of the Incarnation and in the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles. May she continue to strengthen our prayers with her suffrages, that, in the midst of all the stress and trouble of the nations, those divine prodigies may be happily revived by the Holy Ghost, which were foretold in the words of David: “Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth”( Psalm 103:30). (H/T to Vultus Christi)
688 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
“The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:
– in the Scriptures he inspired;
– in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
– in the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists;
– in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;
– in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;
– in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;
– in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
– in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation.
Because God is God we can never “arrive” at the goal of believing and loving Him as we should, but as we grow in love, the more Christlike we become, and the greater will be our capacity to receive He Who is Love Itself. Remember though, more is always possible while we remain on Earth, for Love has no limits!
Unite, then, Venerable Brethren, your prayers with Ours, and at your exhortation let all Christian peoples add their prayers also, invoking the powerful and ever-acceptable intercession of the Blessed Virgin. You know well the intimate and wonderful relations existing between her and the Holy Ghost, so that she is justly called His Spouse. The intercession of the Blessed Virgin was of great avail both in the mystery of the Incarnation and in the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.
Absolutely lovely post, kathleen!
I’m sorry, but I feel Monsignor Frisina’s Regina Coeli coming on again, but this time with a most beautiful painting of Our Lady being crowned by the Holy Trinity.
“You know well the intimate and wonderful relations existing between her and the Holy Ghost, so that she is justly called His Spouse. “
So, the Holy Ghost is Mary’s husband.
Didn’t know that.
Thanks for uploading that video GC – lovely stuff. A beautiful piece of music, which perfectly complements the beautiful content of Kathleen’s post.
Thank you, Michael, and it’s fitting also because the Regina Coeli is sung each year in the Office and in place of the Angelus from Easter until Trinity Sunday, which is of course this coming Sunday.
“So, the Holy Ghost is Mary’s husband.”
There are some Catholics – usually NuChurch feminists, but also including a fairly well respected (but not by me on this specific issue) pundit and Catholic convert by the name of Scott Hahn – who opine that the Holy Spirit is a feminine deity – and that, ergo, Jesus had two mommies.
How did you find Purgatory, Toad? Nice weather?
I thought of it more as Limbo, JH.
Hotter than hell here though, right now.
So…Jesus had two Mommies, eh?
I’ll pass on the book – and wait for the movie.
By Mel Gibson, dare we hope?
There I was thinking that in olden times they believed the male seed provided the “form” and the female seed provided the “matter” when a child was conceived. Wouldn’t work with your avant garde model, I’m afraid, JH.
Not mine, but I know what you mean.
I think 😉
Thanks dear friends (GC and Michael) for your compliments… but in reality it wasn’t my little head who thought this up and thus deserves the praise, but the great minds and thinkers of others who I quoted the texts from. 🙂
Mary is a creature, not Divine (as I know you know), but because she was singled out to be the Mother of Our Blessed Saviour’s Human Body, conceived not by any man but “by the power of the Holy Spirit”, she is often referred to as His Spouse. In fact Mary has a unique relationship with each of the Divine Persons of the Blessed Trinity: the Daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit.
There is no one greater than Mary but God, and yet Mary is the first to recognise how everything, absolutely everything, flows from God’s immense and unfathomable Love for Mankind: “My soul magnifies the Lord…”