Veni Sancti Spiritus By Katherine Rincón

The First Way the Holy Spirit Guides and Influences the Church

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Holy Trinity, knowing all, working in perfect unison, harmony, and completely united in purpose and person, can show and teach us the path back to Heaven. With these three sacred individuals, we are taught and lead by the sources of all righteousness. However without the help of the Holy Spirit we would not be able to comprehend the doctrine or the will of our almighty father.

“ "No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." 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... 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."” (CCC 687)

To understand or better interpret The Church's position on the comunication of the Holy Spirit through its teachings, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website can give one better insight and explination on that. Under their "How We Teach" tab, we can find the following information,

"Catechesis is the act of handing on the Word of God intended to inform the faith community and candidates for initiation into the Church ... into witnesses [of] Christ and opening their hearts to the spiritual transformation given by the Holy Spirit. The teaching authority of the Catholic Church, called the Magisterium, lies with all of the bishops who are led by the pope and guided by the Holy Spirit. The pope and bishops are the authoritative teachers in the Church." (www.usccb.org)
BIBLICAL EVIDENCE
“And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts 2:2-4)

Through this account in the Bible, we can learn and are definately able to see that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we as vessels of that power are not only able to learn from it ourselves, but are able to teach others as well. Because the apostles were so intune with the Spirit, and so ready to serve and teach others, the Holy Spirit was able to use them as a means of communication to teach others the will of God.

“Immediately, being “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4), the Apostles, and especially Peter, began speaking about Jesus to all the Jews who were in the city from many regions of the Roman Empire. Even thougoh the pilgrims spoke in several different languages, they understood what the Apostles were saying.” (Ave Maria Press 29)

This miracle took place during Pentacost, the Jewish feast that was celebrated after Passover.

THE SECOND WAY THE HOLY SPIRIT GUIDES AND INFLUENCES THE CHURCH

We, as members of the Catholic faith, together make up the congregation of the Catholic Church. If not for the believers and the followers, the Pope would have no one to lead. And one of the greatest ways that the Holy Spirit influences the Church as a whole, is by influencing every single person, individually. These influences take on the title of many different forms, but one of the most appearent are The Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Biblical Evidence

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.” (I Corinthians 12:4-11)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

After clarifying what the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit were, the Catechism goes onto explaining how they bring us closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The gifts of the Holy Spirit were not given to man because he deserved it, or to make his mortal life easier. These gifts were given to man so that we could learn to turn to Christ and live our lives in accordance with the perfect example that Jesus gave us while in his mortal ministry.

“They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.” (CCC 1831)

Why do we need these gifts?

Not only are these gifts given to us so that we might develop and become better following the imagen, but we must, we are obligated as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, to help others on their path to perfection as many others help us.

“The Apostle Paul indicated that the gifts of the Spirit are equally valid, but not equally valuable. Their value is determined by their worth to the church. In dealing with this matter, he used the analogy of the human body. All members of the body have functions, Paul declared, but some are more important than others (1 Corinthians 12:12-26). The service of each Christian should be in proportion to the gifts which he possesses (1 Corinthians 12-14). All believers, as members of the body of Christ, must be serving together in order for the body to be fully-functional. That is why a church needs pastors, teachers, helpers, servants, administrators, those with great faith, etc. All of the gifts of the Holy Spirit working together are needed to produce the full potential of the church. Since the gifts of the Spirit are gifts of grace, their use must be controlled by the rule of love - the greatest of all the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13).” (www.allaboutgod.com)

CONTEMPORARY examples of the holy spiRit's PRESENCE in the church

Often times, members may struggle to recognize the Holy Spirit in their lives. And because of this, the Spirit is less able to affect the church as a whole through its members. Some refer to the Spirit's promptings as their "couscous" rather than as a God given gift. Here are three ways that we can recognize the Holy Spirit in our lives today.

The Holy Spirit always dwells with us

“ Jesus told the disciples that He would send the Spirit into the world to “convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:7-11). Everyone has a “God consciousness,” whether or not they admit it. The Spirit applies the truths of God to minds of men to convince them by fair and sufficient arguments that they are sinners. Responding to that conviction brings men to salvation. Once we are saved and belong to God, the Spirit takes up residence in our hearts forever, sealing us with the confirming, certifying, and assuring pledge of our eternal state as His children. Jesus said He would send the Spirit to us to be our Helper, Comforter, and Guide. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever” (John 14:16).” (www.gotquestions.org)

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