Veni Sancti Spiritus By: Carla TarsInian

First Way Holy Spirit Guides and Influences the Church: According to the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, the Holy Spirit guides and influences the church by making known Jesus Christ, the risen Lord to all believers, recalling his teachings to them and helping them to fully comprehend his Death and Resurrection. He prepares all believers for the time the Messiah will come again and reaches out to them with grace and love, in order to draw them closer to Christ. In addition, he makes known the mystery of Jesus Christ, mainly in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God the Father (CCC paragraph 737).

According to Luke 24:45-47, "Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." This biblical evidence is saying that the Holy Spirit helped the disciples understand more fully what Jesus Christ was trying to teach them. In a similar way, we are filled with the Holy Spirit's presence in order to understand the true meaning of the Body of Christ and God's purpose in our life.

According to a trusted internet source, Jesus Christ established the church to be God's community of believers through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is traced back to the people of God in the Old Testament. Jesus Christ is the Head of the church, and his teachings and will are still present among us. "The Holy Spirit is the Counselor who is always present with God's people and reminds us of all that Jesus said and did. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who guides the believer, and serves as the guarantee of the eternal inheritance promised in Christ" (http://www.bic-church.org).

According to my textbook, "“It is the divine energy of the Holy Spirit that empowers the Church to live as the Body of Christ" (Ave Maria Press page 28) Therefore, the Holy Spirit is present in many aspects of our faith including prayer, liturgy, Sacred Scripture, and Scared Tradition.

Second Way the Holy Spirit Guides and Influences the Church: According to the Papal Encyclical, the Holy Spirit guides and influences the church by "convincing the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" ( http://w2.vatican.va). The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus Christ to continue to lead us to salvation and eternal life in heaven. With the power of the Spirit, we are able to turn away from temptation and follow the right choices that will make us closer to God.

Micah 3:8-10 says, "But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness." This bible verse shows that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we, believers, can overcome any obstacle that might disrupt the relationship we have with Jesus Christ and the Father. The Spirit will guide us in the right path and teach us to become better Catholics following the way of the Lord.

According to a trusted internet source, the Holy Spirit is present in the life of the church, inspiring unity, worship and service between all believers and non-believers. His presence is made known as the church is open to the Spirit's leadership ((http://www.bic-church.org).

According to my textbook, “The Holy Spirit guides the Church and unites her in fellowship and ministry" (Ave Maria Press page 29). The Church is made up of people who who try to live their lives based on the Good News passed on from the time of Jesus Christ. But in the end, we are all human, and human beings will always have a tendency to sin. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be empowered to turn away from sin.

Three Contemporary Examples of the Holy Spirit's presence in the Church:

1. During the sacrament of Confirmation, my classmates and I were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. When the priest layer his hands on me, I felt a rush of energy go through my body. I prayed to the Father so that the Holy Spirit can guide me throughout my life and make me a better person each day. To this day, I can still feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.

2. An article from bible.org said, "One Sunday, I was introduced to the fiancée of a member of our church. I frequently meet engaged couples, but this was the only time that I felt compelled to phone the young woman and ask, “Is this an arranged marriage?” Her reply was, “Who told you?” No one told me. As a result a dialogue ensued. The episode had a great ending and she is now happily married. How does one know these things? I am not surprised that God can give such knowledge" (bible.org). The author is unknown.

Another manifestation of the Holy Spirit is from this article from bible.org. It said, "A church member once told me the story of his chronically ill coworker. One day he approached her and said, “In three days you will be well.” He had never said such a thing in his life. He was just as surprised as the coworker. He prayed for three days, and on the third day, the coworker became well. When the whole story was told to her, she became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. What prompted this man to say such a thing? I am convinced that it was the Spirit of God" (Bible.org).

Holy Spirit as a continuation of Jesus and his ministry:

1. Biblical evidence: In Acts 1:7-8, Jesus Christ said to his apostles, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to continue to guide and influence people to spread the Good News all over the earth.

2. When Jesus' earthly life ended, he sent the Holy Spirit in order to continue his Redemption in the world. Before he left, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide them in their work. That promise was seen on the day of Pentecost. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explained Pentecost as Christ's Passover being fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance to all his apostles (CCC paragraph 731). Once filled with the Spirit, they began spreading the news about Jesus to all regions in the Roman Empire. All people understood them even though they were speaking in different tongues.

We can see the power of the Holy Spirit today working in the Church, filling the hearts and minds of all believers in order to grow closer to God and turn away from sin. The apostles spread the Good News throughout the world so that all generations to come could know about all that Jesus did and taught. In addition, we can see the Spirit's power during mass when the bread and wine are turned into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ ((http://www.bic-church.org).

Personal Reflection: All the information I included in my project and the research I did relates to me because I, myself, can see the Holy Spirit working in my life. His presence guides me each day to continue growing closer to God. He helps me make right choices and turn away from temptation just like I have read he does for all believers. Whenever I call upon the power of the Holy Spirit, I can feel that he is truly by my side, comforting and directing me. Obstacles I encountered in this project are researching for specific contemporary examples of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Many examples were from unknown websites. Conclusions I can draw from this is that as long as I have an open mind and heart, I can allow the Spirit to work through me just like he worked through the apostles in order to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout the entire world.

Sources:

Catechism of the Catholic Church: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c3a8.htm

Papal Encyclical: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_18051986_dominum-et-vivificantem.html

Internet Source not directly affiliated with the Church: http://www.bic-church.org/about/beliefs/holyspirit_church.asp

https://bible.org/seriespage/11-holy-spirit-and-local-church

Textbook: Jesus and the Church: One Holy, Catholic, Apostlic

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