Knowing the Holy Spirit is an Understanding of Grace and Mercy


The Holy Spirit is the third, but equal, part of the Trinity that is the same substance as the Father and Son. It proceeds from the father and son to draw us closer to God. The Holy Spirit does this by transforming our lives with gifts that enable us to better serve God’s plan of salvation for the world. (Pennock, 73.) Michael Pennock explains in his book This Is Our Faith that “The Son and Holy Spirit have a joint, but distinct mission. It is Christ Jesus who is visible, the image of God; however, it is the Holy Spirit who reveals him to us.” (p.76) St. Augustine recognized the power of the Holy Spirit as he described it as the soul of the Church, as Christ gave the keys to Peter, he also sends the Holy Spirit as a guide for his Church, who would comfort us and teach us all throughout Salvation History. Pennock explains, “Finally, before the hour of his glory Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit…John’s Gospel gives the Holy Spirit center stage:” (Ibid)

“I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete to be with your for ever.” (Jn 14:16)

The Paraclete, The Holy Spirit, is a being that will give aid, help, and comfort to Christ’s Church as an advocate of the faithful. The Holy Spirits aids us by giving us both gifts and fruits of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit which are given to us, they can be found in Gal. 5:16-26 and CCC #1832 and are listed as Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modest, self-control, and chastity. (CCC 1832) The best description of what all of these mean and how we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us is to help us follow Christ’s teaching in Matthew Chapter 25 and the Judgment of All Nations:

Christ says, “33 and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. 34 Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” (Mt. 25: 31-46)

What Christ tells us to do and the Spirit helps us to do is be charitable, generous, gentle, kind, and good, and what helps us to do this is by being faithful to God, patient with ourselves and those in the world, being modest, having self-control and chastity. We will be rewarded with the fruits of Joy and Peace by such work, and we the Charity of Christ will give those in the world Peace and Joy by showing these fruits by feeding the poor and clothing the naked. The Spirit compels us to join our local parish’s Prison Ministry and visit and bring the Gospel within those walls.

If we ever feel that we do not know how to properly give our fruits of the Spirit to the world or if we stray from them, The Holy Spirit also gives us the gifts of Wisdom and Understanding, Counsel and Might, and Knowledge and the Fear of the Lord.” (Is. 11:1-2 CCC #1831) The purpose is “to build up Christ’s body and to keep us from prideful self-glory.” (p. 81) Wisdom helps us to see the world from the point of view of God, and Understanding allows us to reflect properly on our faith. Counsel allows us to discern the truth that has revealed to us by the Church’s teachings and doctrines. Knowledge reveals to us that God is working in the world, and the Fear of the Lord acknowledges that Sin is real, and there will be justice served to those for disobedience to God. (p. 81-82)

The Holy Spirit is arguably the most active part of the Trinity in our life, and sadly, often the least understood of the Trinity. However, through a proper reading and instruction of the purpose of the Spirit as told by the doctrines of the Church and with prayer, our relationship with God can continue to grow.



  1. Phillip, are you familiar with the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.also known by the seminars called Life in the Spirit? I have recently been attending meetings, not realizing ahead of time what it was, and I am not sure what to make of it. There seems to be an emphasis on asking for the gift of speaking in tongues, which I admit makes me a little uneasy. I see no problem, of course, in developing a closer relationship to Jesus through the Holy Spirit and in that I am drawn to continue going to the meetings. I may report more on this once the seminar is over.

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    1. I would be concerned with the speaking of tongues bit. Honestly from my own priest, he discusses the gifts of the Holy Spirit as people in the community who have the ability to be bilingual. I would definitely like to hear more on this as your learn, I am concerned with the content, I will also point Servus to your comment to hear his thoughts. I am taking a Catholic Doctrine course right now and we just concluded our section on the Holy Spirit and nothing of this nature was addressed.

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    2. I agree that you should be concerned about the desire of some to meet and ask for the gift of speaking in tongues, especially when the so-called gift manifests in babble which no one can understand (e.g., “In your vain desire to be known as gifted by Me, I took even your understanding away from your own speech.”)

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      1. Thank you Francis. I have never heard anyone “speak in tongues” and I became concerned with this group because they say they will pray over me and that I am to “ask for the gift of tongues.” This puts up a lot of red flags for me and I will be meeting with the priest involved with this group privately tomorrow.

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    3. In 1 Cor 14, St. Paul is very kindly saying that, though one may be having some sort of personal, unintelligible “me moment” while babbling without understanding why, actual prophecy and instruction are to be valued 10,000 times more than “tongues.” St. Paul is being VERY diplomatic…

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      1. Philip, I am also reading this and intend to write a post on this subject which I will submit in about two weeks.


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