Holy spirit

5 things to know about the Holy Spirit

Here are five things to know about the Holy Spirit that you may not know.

As Christians, we believe that God is a Trinity of persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, we still don’t know much about the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.

Here are five things to know about the Holy Spirit from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

1The Holy Spirit has always existed

God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in this exchange.

CCC 221

Before his Passover, Jesus announced the sending of “another Paraclete” (Advocate), the Holy Spirit. At work since creation, having previously “spoken by the prophets”, the Spirit will now be with and in the disciples, to teach and guide them “into all truth”. The Holy Spirit thus reveals himself as another divine person with Jesus and the Father.

CCC 243

2The Holy Spirit is God

The Holy Spirit, third person of the Trinity, is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son, of the same substance and also of the same nature. . . Yet he is not called the Spirit of the Father alone. . . but the Spirit of the Father and of the Son.

CCC 245

3The Holy Spirit is not a dove

Although most often represented as a dove, the Holy Spirit is not an actual dove, but God himself, who can sometimes take the form of a dove.

At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to Baptism, a dove released by Noah returns with a fresh olive branch in its beak, a sign that the earth has become habitable again. When Christ comes out of the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the shape of a dove, descend on him and stay with him. The Spirit descends and dwells in the purified heart of the baptized… Christian iconography traditionally uses a dove to suggest the Spirit.

CCC 701

4The Holy Spirit was fully revealed at Pentecost

On the day of Pentecost, when the seven weeks of Easter were over, Christ’s Passover was fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given and communicated as a divine person: from his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pour out the Spirit in abundance. That day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed.

CCC 731

5Christians receive the Holy Spirit at baptism

From the day of Pentecost, the Church has celebrated and administered Holy Baptism. Indeed, Saint Peter declares to the crowd amazed by his preaching: “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

CCC 1226

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