So, I’ve decided to explore the Holy Spirit. In the creed we say – I believe in the Holy Spirit and as admitted, I tend to ignore this person of the Trinity. The Catechism says the following about those words from the creed. (The section below can be found here)
“I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT”
687 “No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”7 Now God’s Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance, but the Spirit does not speak of himself. the Spirit who “has spoken through the prophets” makes us hear the Father’s Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. the Spirit of truth who “unveils” Christ to us “will not speak on his own.”8 Such properly divine self-effacement explains why “the world cannot receive (him), because it neither sees him nor knows him,” while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them.9
688 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.”
These are ideas I believe in. This is who I think the Spirit is and does. What does it mean though when so many people in the Church cite the “Spirit” as the reason they dissent? Many are well meaning and utterly committed. One might say faithful too. But according to the above, the Spirit would not act against what has been revealed? How does one know whether one is the recipient of the gifts or just one gift of the Holy Spirit? Can I know?
This Sunday’s readings help a bit – the Responsorial Psalm and the 2nd reading in particular. The second reading says (taken from here):
Brothers and sisters:
As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.
Now the body is not a single part, but many.
You are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.
How does this help you may ask – this week’s meditating will be on – Being part of Christ’s Body. Like our body, we have thoughts, things that are unseen, unexperienced. As part of another body, I might experience the Spirit partially as do others. This partial understanding may be at the heart of my and others misunderstandings of who we are and what we are meant to do.
Do I or you cite the Spirit and apply only what we think is being spoken to us, instead of hearing the whole? Lots to think and pray about.