Lesson 16 – Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit

“Something that is too deep for Words”


Peace be to You

In this lesson, we come to that detail of the Creed, which states: “I believe in the Holy Ghost.”  As we stated before Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit may be used indifferently. 


  • It might be well to introduce this particular subject by pondering on a question, which you have probably asked yourselves many times. Would it not have been better for you to have lived in the days of our Blessed Lord than to live now? Have you not missed much by not being a contemporary of the incarnate life of God that walked this earth?  Did we lose something?  Is the 20th century at a disadvantage being so far removed from Him?
  • In answer to those questions it must be admitted that there would have been some advantages living at the time of our blessed Lord. We could have Heard His Voice and been tremendously impressed by the ring of its Authority. Parents could have brought their children to Him to have been blessed, sinners would have been charmed, too, by the Majesty of His Bearing.
  • All of us would have been stirred by the eloquence of His Words as were the police, you will remember, when they set out to arrest our Blessed Lord, they were arrested by this eloquence. When they went back to the temple authorities they said to the police “Why did you not arrest Him?” and they said, “No man ever spoke as that man spoke.” (John 7:46)
  • These would have been some advantages but we must go on the Words of our Blessed Lord Himself who said “…it was better for Him that He go..”. This is what He said the night of the Last Supper and the apostles were rather sad. It was only a few hours before His Agony in the garden and just the night before His death on the Cross.  He said to His apostles,

“…Now I am going back to Him who sent Me.  I can say truly it is better for you that I should go away.  He who is to befriend you will not come to you unless I do go.  But if only I make my way there I will send Him to you.”   John 16:5-11


  • Our Lord was saying it is expedient that He go, for if He goes not the Holy Spirit would not come to us. If our Lord had remained on earth we could have gotten no closer than to have seen Him with our eyes and to have heard Him with our ears or possibly even an embrace. It would have been a sensible outer love but if He left then He could send us His Spirit, then He would not be an example to be copied, then He would be a veritable life to be lived. 
  • Certainly, we have lost His Corporal Presence but the Spiritual Presence has taken its place. Now the Christ is no longer localized, external, but He is indwelling, vivified, not in one place but in His Church and in the souls, that belong to it.


  • Are we therefore at a disadvantage? No, we are rather at a great advantage. We will not think that if you had lived in the time of our Blessed Lord that it would have been any easier to have believed in His divinity then than it would be to believe in the divinity of His Church now.  Those who missed Him miss the Church now. 
  • Look at the apostles. They did not understand the meaning of His death until the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. It is vanity for us to say that we would have understood our Lord better than the apostles.


   So that brings us to some of the lessons of the Holy Spirit and we are going to enumerate about four (4) of them.


 Holy Spirit Reveals the SON:

  • The Holy Spirit, first of all, reveals the Son, that is to say the Son of God, Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals the Son as the Son reveals the Father.
  • When our Blessed Lord was on this earth, He revealed the Heavenly Father. It was only thanks to Him that we knew how much love the Father had for us. “The Father so Loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son into this world.”  John 3:16


  • The night of the Last Supper Phillip said to Him “Show us the Father.” And our Lord said to Him, “Phillip have I been with you all this time and still you do not understand the Father and I are One” John 14:9


  • It was the Father’s Love that sent the Son so that our Blessed Lord was a kind of a prism just as when the earthly sun, the sun of the heavens shines through a prism. It splits up into the seven rays of the spectrum and so too it was thanks to our Blessed Lord that we understood the full Love and Goodness of the Heavenly Father. Now just as the Son revealed the Father, so the Holy Spirit that our Lord said He would send would reveal Him. These are the words of our Lord.
  • “And He will bring honor to Me because it is from Me that He will derive what He makes plain to you because all that belongs to the Father belongs to Me.” John 16:15

(The Promise of the Holy Spirit (Ref (Joel 2:28-32; John 14:15-26; Acts 2:1-13; Acts 10:44-48; Acts 19:1-7))

  • In these words, our Blessed Lord is saying that once He ascends to the Father then all of the Spiritual blessings won by Him on Calvary would be conveyed to us by the Holy Spirit, for our Blessed Lord has said during His earthly life that we would not understand His life, would not receive all of the merits of His life until the Spirit came to this earth.
  • The great business of the Holy Spirit therefore is to stand behind the scenes, to make Christ more real, that is why the apostles did not understand the crucifixion until after Pentecost. Saint Paul goes so far as to say “…that no one can call Jesus Lord except by the Spirit.” Oh yes you can pronounce the word “Jesus” but you do not know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Lord of the Universe except by the Holy Spirit.


Do you believe in the divinity of Christ by this time?    (2nd Gear)


  • It is through the Holy Spirit that you believe not through any words of mine. I am giving to you only certain motives of credibility. But the full assurance of it comes from the Spirit.
  • As the telescope reveals not itself but the stars beyond so the Holy Spirit reveals not Himself but Christ.

Just think how we are able in this age of ours to communicate with distant parts of the earth thanks to electric or light waves and why cannot therefore our Lord who dwells in Heaven be within whispering distance of us through His Holy Spirit?


  • So our Blessed Lord as He said was not going to leave us orphans, He said to His apostles, “It is only for a short time that I am with you my children, I will not leave you orphans.” John 14:18


Another Comforter:

  • Then He promised His spirit that would abide with them forever, and that Spirit He said was to be another Comforter. He was their comfort on earth and now His Spirit would be their Comfort, their Paraclete, their
  • Listen to the words of our Lord, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter, One who would dwell with you forever. It is the Truth giving Spirit for whom the world can find no room because it cannot see it, it cannot recognize Him.” John 14:16


Our Lord is here saying that the world cannot understand the Holy Spirit because the world goes only by the evidence of the eyes and ears, it cannot see the Holy Spirit.

  • In these words, too our Lord manifesting to us that He spoke to us from without but the Holy Spirit will speak to us from within. Does that mean that the Holy Spirit is to be a substitute for Christ? No, the Holy Spirit will make Christ more real than ever.

In You

  • Hear the words of our Lord, “And that day you shall know that I am in the Father and you in Me and I in you”. John 14:20
  • How would He be in us? By revealing His hidden excellence in our Hearts, that is why Saint Paul said, “..If we have known Christ according to the flesh we know Him so no longer because now we know Him in another way, we know Him through the Holy Spirit.” And therefore, the Holy Spirit as our Lord said will bear witness to Him not to Himself.
  • One almost gets the impression as if the different Persons of the Trinity were hiding, it is almost as if the Father hid Himself for the sake of the Son – who revealed Him and it almost seems as if the Son were now hiding Himself for the sake of the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit seems to hide Himself too – for He does not manifest Himself.

The Message:

  • The word hiding is not a proper word to use but it can make our idea clear by quoting the words of our blessed Lord. “…He will not utter a Message of His own, He will utter the Message that has been given to Him and He will plain to you what is to come.” John 16:13-14

Who has the Spirit?

  • The Holy Spirit therefore witnesses not to Himself but to the Son. That is why that only those who have the Spirit understand Christ.
  • You will often hear people say “Oh Jesus was a great teacher. Really He and Lincoln and Plato have done a great deal for the world and if we wanted to solve all of our economic and social problems all we would have to do is read the beatitudes of Jesus.”

If you Love Me:

  • People who talk that way do not understand that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, for them Jesus is just another man, why do they not know Him? Because they do not have the Spirit and why do they not have the Spirit? Because they have not obeyed the law of God that they knew however little or however much it was.

For our Lord said, “If you love me keep My Commands.”  John 14:15

Then the Holy Spirit will manifest Himself to us.



The purpose of the Holy Spirit

  • The purpose of the Holy Spirit – then, is that of an artist. He draws a picture of our Lord on the canvas, He makes Him real to us so that we understand Him and just as the artist stays outside of the canvas so the Holy Spirit is staying outside of the Christ He reveals to us.
  • To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled therefore with Christ so that we put on the mind of Christ, we put on the will of Christ and there is nothing in the Gospel that gives us an answer to many of the problems of life and the difficulties of the day.
  • If we were just simply to imitate the life of our Blessed Lord as is found in the Gospel we would all have to be carpenters


How then do we know what to do?

  • Through the Spirit of Christ that manifests to us what we are to do in each and every circumstance, the proper word to say, the right action to do, the kind of charity to perform.
  • Now this Spirit of Christ that is in our soul we say manifests Christ to us and St. Paul uses the example of the human mind to make clear the Holy Spirit. Paul asked, “How do we know the thoughts of another person?” Well it is because we have a soul and a Spirit just as He has.
  • Engineers understand engineers and brokers understand brokers and students of the same college understand students of the same college. Why? Because they all have the same spirit.  They are human to begin with and then they have the spirit of engineers and brokers and so forth.


How do we understand Christ?

  • Because we have the Spirit of Christ. That is why those who share that Spirit understand one another so readily. The natural spirit, the purely human spirit, the spirit that is not yet Holy cannot grasp the deep meaning of Christ.
  • It is almost like expecting a canary in a cage to learn Shakespeare, he cannot do so, you would have to put your own brain inside of the canary’s brain. So the brain of a scientist or a dramatist cannot understand the mysteries of redemption because he lacks the Spirit.


St. Paul puts it The natural man receiveith not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him and neither can he know them because they are Spiritually discerned.”  1 Cor 2:14

 To try to teach people about Christ and the mysteries of our Holy faith, it was almost like trying to teach a blind man color.

Unless those people are ready to receive the Spirit of Christ themselves.

  • A convert who takes instruction comes to know that Jesus is our Lord. Where do they learn it? From the Spirit


The very first lesson that we gave in this course said that one becomes interested in the Church simply because he has received a Grace that illumined his mind and strengthened his will. (1st Gear)


  • Now the Holy Spirit does that, the Holy Spirit woes the Soul, draws it to closer fellowship, a more intimate union, becomes our Sanctifier, just as the Father is our Creator, the Son is our Redeemer.



Holy Spirit in relation to our Sin:

This is one of the fruits of the Spirit in our daily lives and now we come to another: namely the Holy Spirit in relationship to our understanding of sin.

  • The night of the Last Supper our Blessed Lord said that the Holy Spirit would convict us of sin. “The Spirit will come,” our Lord said “and it will be for Him to prove the world wrong about sin. They have not found belief in me.” John 16:8
  • When do we come to a real understanding of sin? our Lord says here through the Holy Spirit. No one really grasps the evil of sin if he thinks that it is just the breaking of a law. When we have the Spirit of Christ we understand that sin is doing harm to One we love.

That is why the crucifixion is the manifestation of sin.

  • That, as our Lord said, is unbelief in its essence, the absolute refusal to have the Love and the Blessings of God.
  • Now the Holy Spirit reveals to us that sin is the refusal to accept that deliverance purchased by Christ and nothing but the Spirit can convince us really of sin.
  • How often, for example, our conscience can be smothered by repeated evil actions. We rationalize our evil deeds, public opinion sometimes even approves of sin but the Spirit, oh when the Holy Spirit is in us, reveals to us that all unbelief is sin. That sin in some way is tied up with the crucifixion, with the Cross, then we begin to understand that the Cross is a kind of an autobiography.


We can see our own lives there, our pride in the Crown of Thorns, our averse in the Nailing of Hands, our flight from Grace in the Pinioned Feet, our rebellious loves in the Pierced Side and our disrespect to the body in the Flesh that was hanging from Him like purple rags.


The blood is the ink and His skin is the parchment and our sins constitute the writing


Every sinner therefore who has the Spirit of Christ always thinks of sins in relationship to the Crucifixion and then our Blessed Lord becomes our Hope.


  • So there is nothing like therefore the enlightened conscience in which we are not under a law, actually we are not, those who really loved Christ were beyond it. The Holy Spirit gives us a sense of Holiness and Holiness is separation from the world.
  • Paul says that His conscience was enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Whenever therefore we do wrong, it is not the law, it is not the commandments, it is the Spirit that tells us that we are breaking off a relationship with love. That is why St. Paul tells us that as often as we sin we crucify Christ anew in our Hearts.
  • Therefore, the light of a true Christian is not so much concern with the avoidance of sin, we’re beyond that. Rather it is an attempt to reproduce in ourselves the life of Christ as our Lord said to His Heavenly Father “All things that are pleasing to Him that I do.” John 8:29
  • And so we say to the Trinity “All things that are pleasing to God that we do.”

That constitutes our attitude towards sin and that is done through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.


Holy Spirit in relations to our Body:

I propose in this lesson to mention many other effects of the Holy Spirit in our lives but we may have time in this half hour for just one more and perhaps we will talk about the Holy Spirit in relationship to the body because hardly anyone ever thinks of that.

  • Paul says, “Know you not that your body is the temple of God and that the Holy Spirit dwelleth in you?”


How does our body become the temple of God?

  • Well because it is made Holy by the indwelling, the Father Son and Holy Spirit in our soul.
  • Remember that when our Blessed Lord went into the temple of Jerusalem He drove out the buyers and the sellers. The Pharisees asked Him for a sign that He had authority to do that and our Blessed Lord said, “Destroy this Temple and in three days I will rebuild it.” He was not referring to that earthly material temple that was in the course of the construction under Herod, He was referring to the Temple of His body.



What is a temple?

  • A Temple is a place where God dwells and since He was the Son of God in the flesh, therefore His body was the Supreme Temple.
  • Now in an analogical way our body when we are in the state of Grace, because that’s the life of Christ in our Soul, also becomes a Temple. It is therefore the Holy Spirit that gives medicine its dignity.
  • A truly Spiritual man cannot treat a sick person as a guinea pig. Our Lord has a double glory. One with the Father where He is Glorified at the Right Hand but also, He is Glorified in us.
  • Our Lord said that The Holy Spirit shall Glorify Me”. (Ref John 15:26)
  • The Holy Spirit glorifies Him in us by making us witnesses to Christ, declaring Him in our mind, our actions. Let therefore the practical result of this lesson be to pray to the Holy Spirit that you may know Christ in the fullness of His Gospel and the Love of the Father, that you may understand that He is the Source of Power, the Holy Spirit.  For our Lord said, “I will send you Power from on High.” (Ref Luke 24:49)

Every day of my priestly life I pray for that power of the Holy Spirit, the power that is not human, the power that is not physical, the power that is not intellectual but rather a Power that comes solely from living the Christ life, the Power to influence people, the Power to impress you now as you listen to me about the Divinity of the Holy Spirit.

And if then in the course of this lesson I have given to you any deeper comprehension of the beautiful Love of the Trinity of the Father who Created us and sent His Son, of the Son who Redeemed us and of the Holy Spirit who Sanctified us and makes of our body a Temple of God,

I say if I have done anything to give you a closer understanding of the beauty of the Spirit of Christ – then I trust that you will in gratitude sometime say a little prayer to the Holy Spirit for me that I may more and more in mind and Heart and body show forth the Spirit of Christ.


God Love You

 1.  In today’s lesson on the Holy Spirit  – what stood out the most to you?


2.  Why do you think Bishop Sheen gave the title “Something that is too deep for Words” to this lesson?


3. How would you explain to someone seeking a deeper understanding of – The Holy Spirit – His role in our Salvation?


4. Now that you have learned more about The Holy Spirit and His role in your Salvation  –  what changes do you think this will have in your daily life?

The Holy Spirit 

  1. 1. “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the HOLY SPIRIT, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life. “

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/prologue.html#life



  1. 2. “So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the HOLY SPIRIT, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.'[Mt 28:19-20 .] Strengthened by this mission, the apostles ‘went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it.'[Mk 16:20 .]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/prologue.html#life



  1. 14. “Those who belong to Christ through faith and Baptism must confess their baptismal faith before men.[Cf. Mt 10:32 ; Rom 10:9 .] First therefore the Catechism expounds revelation, by which God addresses and gives himself to man, and the faith by which man responds to God (Section One). The profession of faith summarizes the gifts that God gives man: as the Author of all that is good; as Redeemer; and as Sanctifier. It develops these in the three chapters on our baptismal faith in the one God: the almighty Father, the Creator; his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; and the HOLY SPIRIT, the Sanctifier, in the HOLY Church (Section Two). “

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/prologue.html#STRUCTURE



  1. 15. “The second part of the Catechism explains how God’s salvation, accomplished once for all through Christ Jesus and the HOLY SPIRIT, is made present in the sacred actions of the Church’s liturgy (Section One), especially in the seven sacraments (Section Two). “

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/prologue.html#STRUCTURE






  1. 50. “By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. But there is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers: the order of divine Revelation.[Cf. Dei Filius DS 3015.] Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the HOLY SPIRIT. “

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/profess2.html#MEET



  1. 51. “‘It pleased God, in his goodness and wisdom, to reveal himself and to make known the mystery of his will. His will was that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the HOLY SPIRIT, and thus become sharers in the divine nature.'[DV 2; cf. Eph 1:9 ; Eph 2:18 ; 2 Pet 1:4 .]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/profess2.html#REVELATION



  1. 152. “One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without sharing in his SPIRIT. It is the HOLY SPIRIT who reveals to men who Jesus is. For ‘no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the HOLY SPIRIT’,[1 Cor 12:3 .] who ‘searches everything, even the depths of God. . No one comprehends the thoughts of God, except the SPIRIT of God.'[1 Cor 2:10-11 .] Only God knows God completely: we believe in the HOLY SPIRIT because he is God.
    The Church never ceases to proclaim her faith in one only God: Father, Son and HOLY SPIRIT.”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/profess5.html#BELIEVED



  1. 153. “When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus declared to him that this revelation did not come ‘from flesh and blood’, but from ‘my Father who is in heaven’.[Mt 16:17 ; cf. Gal 1:15 ; Mt 11:25 .] Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. ‘Before this faith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must have the interior helps of the HOLY SPIRIT, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opens the eyes of the mind and ‘makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth.”[DV 5; cf. DS 377; 3010.]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/profess5.html#CHARACTERISTICS



  1. 154. “Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the HOLY SPIRIT. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act. Trusting in God and cleaving to the truths he has revealed is contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason. Even in human relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us about themselves and their intentions, or to trust their promises (for example, when a man and a woman marry) to share a communion of life with one another. If this is so, still less is it contrary to our dignity to ‘yield by faith the full submission of… intellect and will to God who reveals’,[Dei Filius: 3: DS 3008.] and to share in an interior communion with him.”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/profess5.html#CHARACTERISTICS



  1. 156. “What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe ‘because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived’.[Dei Filius: 3 DS 3008.] So ‘that the submission of our faith might nevertheless be in accordance with reason, God willed that external proofs of his Revelation should be joined to the internal helps of the HOLY SPIRIT.'[Dei Filius: 3 DS 3009.] Thus the miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Church’s growth and holiness, and her fruitfulness and stability ‘are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all’; they are ‘motives of credibility’ (motiva credibilitatis), which show that the assent of faith is ‘by no means a blind impulse of the mind’.[Dei Filius: 3: DS 3008-3010; Cf. Mk 16 20 ; Heb 2:4 .]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/profess5.html#CHARACTERISTICS



  1. 158. “‘Faith seeks understanding’:[St. Anselm, Prosl. prooem. PL 153 225A.] it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love. The grace of faith opens ‘the eyes of your hearts'[Eph 1:18 .] to a lively understanding of the contents of Revelation: that is, of the totality of God’s plan and the mysteries of faith, of their connection with each other and with Christ, the centre of the revealed mystery. ‘The same HOLY SPIRIT constantly perfects faith by his gifts, so that Revelation may be more and more profoundly understood.'[DV 5.] In the words of St. Augustine, ‘I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe.'[St. Augustine, Sermo 43, 7, 9: PL 38, 257-258.]”

To view the context, please visit http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/profess5.html#CHARACTERISTICS


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