Knowing the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, and the one who inspired Sacred Scripture. The title of ‘spirit’ comes from the Hebrew word ‘ruah,’ which means breath, air, or wind. Jesus calls him the “Paraclete”, or “he who is called to one’s side.” 


Throughout scripture, he is symbolized by fire, such as the tongues of fire that descended on the apostles at Pentecost, by water, a cloud, an anointing, and a dove, along with others. You may be most familiar with artistic depictions of the Holy Spirit as a dove. 


“The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may “bear much fruit.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 737)


You can ask the Holy Spirit for help at any moment. He is an advocate who intercedes on our behalf, inspires our minds and hearts and helps us discern God’s will. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” (Rom 8:26) In moments when we struggle to find the words to pray, or in times of doubt or confusion, we can ask the Holy Spirit for aid. Simply invoke him by saying, “Come, Holy Spirit,” or pray the following prayer: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.”

Is there anyone among you who, if your child asked for bread, would give a stone? Or if the child asked for a fish, would give a snake? If you, then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 7: 9-11