Some trivias about the Third Person in the Blessed Trinity
1.) QUESTION: Who is the Holy Spirit? What makes him the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity?
ANSWER: The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. He is also God, together with the Father and the Son. He is known as ‘ruach,’ which means “breath of God”. This was the action done during Creation, when God created man, and formed him from the dust, and he breathed on him. This is the same action of our Lord Jesus Christ, who after his Resurrection, appeared to his Apostles, and breathed the Holy Spirit on them. The Third Person is called “Holy” in order not to confuse with the other definitions of spirits, such as spirits of the dead and evil spirits.
2.) QUESTION: What are the Biblical proofs of the Divinity of the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER: We can prove that the Holy Spirit is God in three different Gospel accounts, the Incarnation of Christ, the Baptism of Jesus, and the Pentecost.
a.) The Incarnation of Christ
At the Annunciation, when the Archangel Saint Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin Mary about the birth of the Savior, he said to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Thus Mary did not conceive Jesus by her own, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus this proves that the Spirit is also God.
b.) The Baptism of Jesus
After our Lord was baptized by his cousin, Saint John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit descended upon him in the form of a dove. And a voice came from the heavens, saying: “This is my beloved Son, wth whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16). Here we see the relationship of the Most Holy Trinity: God the Father confirms the divinity of God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit descending like a dove.
c.) The Pentecost
Fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ, and ten days after his Ascension into Heaven, the Apostles, together with the blessed Mother, were gathered in the Upper Room, where our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist. Suddenly the Holy Spirit came upon them, as it said: “There appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were filled wit the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:3-4a). This was the promised fulfilled by the Lord: “When he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth” (John 16:13). Thus the quote “all truth” identifies that the Holy Spirit is a person, and not just an abstract being. Moreover, the Third Person is also divine.
3.) QUESTION: What are the major manifestations of the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER: The four major manifestations of the Holy Spirit can be found in the Scriptures, and they are namely: The Inspiration of he Bible, The Virginal Conception, The Baptism of Jesus, and The Pentecost.
a.) The Inspiration of the Bible
God is the real author of the Bible, but he inspired men to become sacred writers of his book. These writiers were filled with the Holy Spirit, as what Saint Peter said: “There is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of persoal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the Holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
b.) The Virginal Conception
As announced by the Archangel Saint Gabriel, the blessed Mother conceived our Savior by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why we bow during these lines of the Creed: “And by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” Or: “Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.”
c.) The Baptism of Jesus
The Holy Spirit descended upon Christ in a form of a dove after the Baptism. Thus the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor” [Isaiah 61:1 (cited also in Luke 4:18)].
d.) The Pentecost
The Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary, as what Saint Luke narrated: “There appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were filled wit the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim” (Acts 2:3-4).
4.) QUESTION: What are the four symbols of the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER: The Bible does not mention the physical characteristics, but it uses for major symbols to represent him, and they are water, oil, fire, and dove.
The Holy Spirit is represented by water to symbolize the Sacrament of Baptism. This was our words to our Lord Jesus Christ to Nicodemus, when he said: “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit” (John 3:5).
The Holy Spirit is represented by oil to symbolize anointing. This was used by the Prophet Samuel, when he anointed Saul and David to be Kings of Israel. This was also the symbol of the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Christ as the Anointed One: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor” [Isaiah 61:1 (cited also in Luke 4:18)].
The Holy Spirit is represented by fire because it pertains to the everlasting love of God, which is like an unconsummated fire. This symbol was revealed at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and the blessed Mother.
The Holy Spirit is represented by a dove because it signifies purity and holiness. This symbol was revealed at the Jordan River, wherein it descended upon Christ after the Baptism.
5.) QUESTION: What are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
ANSWER: The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations” (CCC 1831).
It is the predisposition to judge and order all things according to God’s will. It enables us to chose the more important things rather than the less important ones.
It is the predisposition to comprehend the truths of our faith in an easy and profound way. It enables us to be enlightened of the things God reveals to us.
It is the predisposition to discern correctly and immediately the will of God in the different circumstances of our life. It enables us to make the right deciscons, to determine what is right and what is wrong according to the eyes of our Creator.
It is the predisposition to persevere in fulfilling God’s will in moments of trials. It enables us to be courageous, and face the different challenges of life.
It is the predisposition to discover the truths of spiritual and material world, and to relate them to the Creator. Being different from Understanding, it enabes us to know of the real truths of God’s love for all.
It is the predisposition to worship god with all our heart, and the love our neighbor as ourselves. It enables us to live up our Christian faith in our love for God and others.
g.) Fear of the Lord
It is the predisposition to respect the majesty of God and to be scared of sin. It enables us to be obedient to the divine will, and to avoid the temptations of evil.
6.) QUESTION: What are the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER: The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them: ‘charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity'” (CCC 1832).
a.) Charity or Love
It enables us to show our affection and relationship to God above all things, and to our neighbor as ourselves.
It enables us to be overjoyed and overwhelmed with the good things, most of all the great blessings of God.
It enables us to bring unity between two parties, and to heal broken divisions.
It enables us to long and hope for the graces of our Lord, and to work hard in his vineyard.
It enables us to show our respect to others.
It enables us to see, enjoy, and spread all the great blessings.
It enables us to share our gifts and blessings with others.
It enables us to care for one another, and to take care of someone who needs aid.
It enables us to show our belief in God and all the things he has done.
It enables us to be inspirational good Christians to others both by word and by deed.
It enables us to control ourselves from the different cravings, passions, and desires.
It enables us to be pure and free from any evil desires.
7.) QUESTION: How can we be filled with the Holy Spirit?
ANSWER: We were filled with the Holy Spirit when we were baptized and confirmed. We were empowered by the Holy Spirit to become children of God, to live our vocations in life, and to proclaim the Good News. But anytime we are in times of trials, we can ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to what is right because he is our Paraclete. We can pray to him with these simple words: “Come, Holy Spirit!” We can also ask him to guide others to choose the right way, such as Church leaders, government leaders, office workers, employees, relatives, friends, family members, etc.