Holy spirit

Walk with Christ. The Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary – Catholic Telegraph

In last month’s issue of The Catholic telegraph, we spoke of the need for “Parish Families” to walk together in a synodal way. Living a synodal life begins with the Holy Trinity. In this article, I want to explore more deeply the roots of this “journey together” as a Family of God, starting with Christ and his Eucharistic Presence, then turning to the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.


Synodality is a way of living the faith permanently at all levels of the life of the Church and is rooted in the paschal mystery from baptism, through which individuals participate in the communion of the Trinity. Baptism involves the human response to the call to live in union with Christ through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 1: 9). This communion purifies the person from sin, making him a new creation, an adopted child of God and a member of the Church, opening the door to the other sacraments, including the Eucharist.

It is the Church that makes the Eucharist, just as the Eucharist makes the Church. By virtue of the Eucharist, the People of God as the Body of Christ walk with various members (1 Cor 10:17) under the direction of Christ. Christ, the Good Shepherd, leads the flock on its way. Not only does he lead, but he also feeds the flock. In receiving Holy Communion, communion with God is deepened vertically and horizontally. The agape of God is received bodily, so that his saving work can continue in and through the Church. Conscious of the gift, the Church goes forward to bring all humanity together in unity. A parish or a family of parishes must remain intimately linked to Christ in the Eucharist, giving priority to Sunday Mass and access to the Eucharist.


At the baptism of Christ, the voice of the Father was heard and the Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove. This same Spirit, which was poured out on the apostles at Pentecost, was poured out in our hearts at baptism. The Holy Spirit introduces order (1 Cor. 12: 1-20) amidst the diversity of members and charisms in the Body of Christ so that members work together for the good of the whole Church (1 Cor . 12: 14-31). Each member receives a manifestation of the Spirit for the good of the body. The gifts of the Spirit are gathered in the Church, where members serve and listen to one another. The Church understands herself as a collective “us” in prayer, liturgy and discernment.


The Holy Spirit, who is at the heart of this ecclesial “walk together”, also eclipsed Mary, Mother of the Church and model of discipleship, who lived this path in a privileged way. Although the Spirit has operated from the dawn of creation in the fulness of time (Gal. 4: 4), a qualitative leap has been made in the history of salvation. Through the Holy Spirit, Mary conceived the Word of God, which in turn was given as a gift to mankind. Mary and the Spirit “walk together” from the Annunciation to Pentecost.

If, in the economy of salvation, the Holy Spirit represents the condition of possibility of the self-communication of God in Jesus on the part of the Divine, then Mary, with her fiat, represents the condition of possibility of this communication on the part of the Divine. of the Divine. of humanity. By her attentive listening and her openness to God, she fulfilled her mission of bringing Christ to the world. It demonstrates the characteristics of living this trip. She traveled with and in the Trinity, willingly receiving the love of the Father, carrying the Son in her womb and becoming a temple of the Holy Spirit. The Mother of God is a model for all disciples and an icon of synodal life, reminding us of the universal call to listen to God attentively with an openness to the Holy Spirit.

Mary and the Holy Spirit will guide us on the path of discernment. Let us therefore entrust ourselves to them,
concluding with a prayer to Christ from the Swiss mystic Adrienne von Speyr:

“Dear Lord, grant us to contemplate and affirm you, you and your Church, and to accomplish what our mission requires, in an ever new spirit, in the spirit of the consent of your Mother. Also grant that we pray for that Spirit. We know that you yourself are where you send your Spirit. The Spirit brought you to your Mother: the Spirit allowed her to carry you; and because in her you have found your own Spirit, you have formed your Church. Since you have called us to this Church, make each of us a place where the Spirit of your Church blows, where the will of your Father is done with you and with the help of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Father Earl K. Fernandes is the pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Cincinnati and holds a doctorate in moral theology from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome.

This article appeared in the November issue of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your free subscription, click on here.