The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity, and the most active and least known in the world. He created the world (Genesis 1:2), led Jesus into the desert (Matthew 4:1), comes to us at Confirmation (Atos 8:18), intercedes for us in sighs that we cannot understand (Romans 8:26) and guides the Catholic Church without boundaries in time and space.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment; of sin, because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:7-15).
The Holy Spirit is also called Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9), Spirit of the Son (Galatians 4:6), and Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7). Other titles include Comforter, Paraclete, Spirit of God, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Adoption and Spirit of the Promise.
The Catholic Church affirms three dogmas of the Holy Spirit:
•The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
•Though really a distinct Person from the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is consubstantial with the Father and the Son. The three divinities possess the same Nature.
•The Holy Spirit proceeds, not by way of generation, but by way of inspiration, from the Father and the Son.
The Holy Spirit operates in several ways:
•It prepares men through grace to draw them to Christ.
•It manifests the Risen Lord to men by spreading his word and helping them to understand the mysteries of the faith.
•It makes Christ present, especially in the Eucharist.
•It brings men into closeness with God.
The Holy Spirit grants us gifts, which generate fruits, as we evolve in spirituality. The article Holy Spirit’s Gifts and Fruits lists those gifts and fruits.
Charisms are special graces which require a pure heart and great docility. The Holy Spirit has granted many charisms to the apostles on Pentecost. The article Nine Charisms describes special graces to serve the Church.
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on my men servants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18).