1.31 Who is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit, God the Father and Jesus his Son, together make up the Holy Trinity. The three persons of the Trinity have a very special bond. The Holy Spirit has the task of inspiring us and helping us to learn about God and to start having faith.
The Holy Spirit also inspired the Biblical authors as they were writing down God’s message. He also helps us today to read the Bible correctly. We see him depicted symbolically as breath, air or storm, as well as water, fire, light or clouds. He is frequently symbolised by the dove that descended on Jesus at his Baptism Mt. 3:16: When Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him..
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The Wisdom of the Church
Why are the missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit inseparable?
In the indivisible Trinity, the Son and the Spirit are distinct but inseparable. From the very beginning until the end of time, when the Father sends his Son he also sends his Spirit who unites us to Christ in faith so that as adopted sons we can call God “Father” (Romans 8:15). The Spirit is invisible but we know him through his actions, when he reveals the Word to us and when he acts in the Church. [CCCC 137]
What does it mean to say that the Holy Spirit has “spoken through the prophets”?
Already in the Old Covenant God filled men and women with the Spirit, so that they lifted up their voices for God, spoke in his name, and prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah.
In the Old Covenant God sought out men and women who were willing to let him use them to console, lead, and admonish his people. It was the spirit of God who spoke through the mouth of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and other prophets. John the Baptist, the last of these prophets, not only foresaw the coming of the Messiah. He also met him and proclaimed him as the liberator from the power of sin. [Youcat 116]
What are the names of the Holy Spirit?
“The Holy Spirit” is the proper name of the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Jesus also called him the Paraclete (Consoler or Advocate) and the Spirit of Truth. The New Testament also refers to him as the Spirit of Christ, of the Lord, of God - the Spirit of Glory and the Spirit of the Promise. [CCCC 138]
Under what names and signs does the Holy Spirit appear?
The Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus in the form of a dove. The first Christians experience the Holy Spirit as a healing ointment, living water, a raging storm, or a flaming fire. Jesus Christ himself speaks about the Counselor, Comforter, Teacher, and Spirit of Truth. In the sacraments of the Church, the Holy Spirit is bestowed through the imposition of hands and anointing with oil.
The peace that God established in his covenant with mankind after the flood was indicated to Noah through the appearance of a dove. Pagan antiquity, too, considered the dove to be a symbol of love. And so the early Christians understood immediately why the Holy Spirit, the love of God in person, came down in the form of a dove when Jesus allowed himself to be baptized in the Jordan. Today the dove is recognized worldwide as the sign of peace and as one of the great symbols for the reconciliation of man with God (cf. Gen 8:10–11). [Youcat 115]
This is what the Church Fathers say
The Advocate will come and the Son will send him from the Father, and he is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father. [St. Hilary, On the Trinity, Bk. 8, Chap. 19 (ML 10, 250)]