Do you ever ask yourself about the Holy Spirit, about who He is, what He does?  I always think that He is surrounded in mystery.  Not so very long ago we used to call him by the name of the Holy Ghost, and I suppose that title made Him even more mysterious – especially to children.  Perhaps, that is why the powers-that-be changed the name to Holy Spirit, the name we now most always use.  Myself, being that bit older, and having used the former name for many years, I can still hear myself saying ‘Holy Ghost’ in some of my prayers.  I don’t think it really matters; what matters is that the prayers get heart and soul behind them and they will then get through to Him – I have no doubts.


Blessed Sacrament Chapel – St. Mary’s Leyland

(Tapestry Identifying the Relationship(s) in the Blessed Trinity)

(Designed by Architect Jerzy Faczynski)

Now we think we know a lot about God the Father – we don’t actually – but we think we do.  We know that he was the Architect and Creator of the Universe – with everything it contains and has contained – then and now.  We know he created the lands, the skies and the seas, the animals that roam the earth, the birds that fly and the fish that swim in the waters.  We know he made us in his own image and likeness – to love him in this world and to be happy with him forever in the next.

The person of Jesus, the Son of God, is also familiar to us – perhaps, even more so than the Father – because at God’s bidding, he became a man like us, to bring redemption for the Original Sin of Adam and Eve, and for all the sins committed by our own mortal selves.  We know that without Jesus, we would have had no hope of a life of happiness after death.  And, in his short life on earth, Jesus taught us such an awful lot about His Father in heaven, and about many other things – how we should live our lives, for example.


The Holy Spirit as a Dove – Connection between Creator and Cross

So where does the Holy Spirit come in?  We know he is the third person of the Holy and Blessed Trinity – but what is his special role – what does he contribute to life in this world and the next.  I repeat – it’s all a bit of a mystery.  People say he is the ‘Breath of God’ – but that doesn’t tell us much.  Some say that He is the love that exists – that flows – between Father and Son – that he ‘proceeds from the Father and the Son’ – a phrase that always sounds to me as if He is not quite as important as they are.  But, that cannot be right, because the doctrine surrounding the Holy Trinity makes Him one with them and equal in every way.  We are getting ‘bogged down’ now in ever more mysterious truths and all of this analysis is getting us nowhere – fast!

Without being in any way disrespectful, I think he is a kind of postman.  For the Royal Mail, a postman sorts the mail and brings it to us.  This heavenly ’Postman’ sorts the gifts of God and brings them to us.  From God we all receive the gifts that make us what we are – gifts to even those who do not necessarily believe.  The Apostles received many gifts from the Holy Spirit – among them the gifts of fortitude and wisdom, the ability to be understood in different languages – according to the ‘tongues’ of the various members of their listening audiences.  But I think there is much more to this Holy ‘Postman’.  I am convinced he brings us God’s love, he brings us faith and hope and understanding, coupled with all the other well know gifts of the Holy Spirit.  And, although spirit, I know from my own experience, He is real, the fount of goodness, the fount of love and kindness, the fount of hope and expectation of a supernatural life in paradise, once we have done with this ‘ordinary’ and ‘natural’ life of ours.  I also know in my heart that if we lay our hearts ‘on the line’ and ask him to help us, in any way that is for our good (and the good of others), He will always listen and come to our aid.

We ask him in our prayers to:

“Come O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.  Send forth your Spirit that they may be created – and they shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”

Then again:

“Come, Holy Spirit, come
Let thy bright beams arise,
Dispel the darkness from our minds,
And open all our eyes.
Revive our drooping faith,
Our doubts and fears remove,
And kindle in our breasts the flame
Of everlasting Love. Amen!”

I think there is much more to the Spirit of God than many of us suspect.  What is more, I am beginning to come to the conclusion that the more we think about him, the more we pray to him, the more we try to understand his great role in the entirety of things, the more we try to love Him, then, perhaps, some of the mystery that surrounds him may begin clear and make sense to our tiny minds.  We will never understand Him completely, because that would be impossible for us, but perhaps, just a little bit of the mystery might begin to thin and disappear; thus we may find ourselves a little closer to Him, and not quite as frightened.  All little children are a bit frightened of spirits and ghosts, and we are all a bit like children, sometimes.  Of the Spirit of God, there is no need to feel afraid; if we’re trying our best to be good, to lead good lives ourselves, and to help others, He will always help us!

And all of this says to me, to all peoples very clearly, that we should devote more of our prayers and spend a little more of our time in devotions to Him, than perhaps we are wont so to do.