Baptism in the Holy Spirit

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The Holy Spirit enables us to become fruitful members of the Body of Christ — the Church.  The Holy Spirit dwelling within us can transform our lives, the Church and the world.  “Live by the Spirit,” urges St. Paul.  When we renounce ourselves, “we walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:25).

St. Thomas Aquinas noted the Holy Spirit can be given to live in us and “make us new.” The Baptism in the Holy Spirit can be given after the sacrament of Baptism.   The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, St. Thomas wrote,  “is an invisible sending of the Holy Spirit for an advance in virtue or an increase in grace.  A person moves to a new act or state of grace, such as miracles, prophecy, martyrdom or the person renounces  his possessions and undertakes some heroic endeavor.”

Christ’s promise the Holy Spirit on Pentecost for the Apostles and Mary.  The extra measure of the Spirit was conferred in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4:31; 19:1-7). The Holy Spirit can “make us new” when we surrender to God and serve Him with our whole heart, thus increasing our personal holiness  and the work of the Church.  This surrender opens us further to the life in the Spirit.  For example, we may experience an overwhelming sense of the presence and love of God, a sense of joy and peace or we can  speak in tongues.  As the Catechism says, “the moral life of Christians is sustained by the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” and St. Paul wrote, “for all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God . . . If children, then heirs . . .” (Rom 8:14, 17).

 

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