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  #1  
Old Apr 11, '13, 6:57 am
LivesForever LivesForever is offline
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Default What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

Hi, I am new to this board. I am not Catholic, so I hope I am not intruding. Please know I have nothing but respect for you and your beliefs, and I am just here to learn. I am searching for truth right now, and I was very fascinated by the conversion stories posted in this thread:

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=553484

As Catholics, how do you experience the Holy Spirit? What feelings are there? What does it do for you?

Thank you in advance!

Last edited by LivesForever; Apr 11, '13 at 6:59 am. Reason: clarity
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  #2  
Old Apr 11, '13, 7:26 am
Bob Crowley Bob Crowley is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

We can only speak from personal experience, and the experiences of other Christians, so our answers will be somewhat subjective.

Bear in mind the devil exists also, and one of his strategies is to confuse the believer by sending false "sensations".

Nor can you pin it down and say "This is the Holy Spirit's typical calling card." He can use several different methods, and no one method is necesarily His.

I'll start with my "double whammies". A bit over a year after becoming a Christian, I was at a "Scripture Union Beach Mission" south of Nambour in SE Queensland (Australian). I was a Protestant then by the way. I was feeling somewhat cynical about Christianity for various reasons, and wondering "How do I know this is really true, and not just a psychological prop?".

I've linked a reference to Scripture Union so you can get some idea of what I'm talking about.

http://www.scriptureunion.org.au/

Anyway we had a Bible study session each afternoon for the "leaders", led by the overall mission leader. On this particular occasion, he read from the book of Samuel and was referring to King David. Precisely as he said the words "... man after my own heart...", I got hit by my first "double whammy". It was like a breath going through me in waves from head to foot, is the best way I can describe it. It was also very, very pronounced, didn't come from me and gave me one hell of a shock. I nearly fell of the chair. I looked around to see what the others were making of it but they weren't taking the least bit of notice, for the simple reason it hadn't happened to them.

It happened twice more, both times in my own local (then Presbyterian) church, both times in response to two phrases spoken by the pastor, referring to St. Paul and CS Lewis respectively. Now I've heard hundreds of sermons and homilies snce that time, but I still remember word for word what was said on each occasion, simply because of the "double whammies".

And it hasn't happened since. Now the first occasion was Christmas 1983, and the other two probably took place within a year or two of that one. With the first occurrence, I got the clear message it was "true" all right, and not just a psychological prop. It also served the purpose of encouraging me after a rather rough time. In fact I think I could claim I've had a rather rough time for many years. The other "double whammies" had a message as well.

So that's one way the Holy Spirit might get a message across. Other times it might be a sense of peace, a sense of joy (eg. when I got a hint about how I might meet my current wife, this bubbling joy just broke through - very, very brief, but quite noticeable). However He might also speak through Scripture when a phrase might just jump right out at you and grab you by the throat. He might speak through the words of another experienced Christian. He might speak through simple hindsight, when you suddenly realise that something you prayed for has in fact happened, against the odds.

So there are a number of ways. I've just given you a few.

However the devil can emulate them, and pretty well too. One common one is "tingles", or a false leading to do something that really has no relevance to your Christian walk. And that's when it gets very tricky.

No doubt others could tell you of their expeiences.

I'm not in the same class as St. John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila, Padre Pio, etc. They could give you a much longer list, but they could equally give you a far more comprehensive of the deceptive methods of the devil as well. At one stage I was getting this image of a "tail of a snake" at night when I was trying to sleep. I asked my pastor about it and he thought it was probably an indication of interference by the devil. Years later, when I was a Catholic, I picked up a book on weeds and the wheat by a Catholic priest, and he mentioned the specific term "the tail of the snake" in relation to spiritual weeds. So there you go.

Deep calls to deep, and only those who really grow in spiritual depth develop what might be called profound discernment.

Anyway that's a little bit based on my own experience.
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  #3  
Old Apr 11, '13, 7:38 am
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GreatergoodGod GreatergoodGod is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

It is highly subjective and I noticed different for everyone. For me it feels like an energy field.
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"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18

"Feed My sheep."
John 21:17

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  #4  
Old Apr 11, '13, 7:42 am
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fpesce fpesce is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LivesForever View Post
As Catholics, how do you experience the Holy Spirit? What feelings are there? What does it do for you?

Thank you in advance!
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

LUKE 11: 9-13 9“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10“For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11“Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12“Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”


In other words, confess your sins before your Holy Father and turn from them and follow Jesus. Then just ask for the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and He will. God Bless
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  #5  
Old Apr 11, '13, 8:07 am
SubjectVerb SubjectVerb is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

Often, it is not a direct "feeling," it is more of a peace with my life, decisions, and relationships with others. I love the Holy Spirit, and pray "Come, Holy Spirit" often when I am about to have to do something difficult (often with interpersonal relationships and communication). After I pray, I can often look back and be very surprised by how well I did. I am convinced that it is the Holy Spirit giving me grace to listen to others, open my heart, and follow God's will.

As a revert who has explored several non-Christian religions, I can tell you that I had never experienced this before, and it is entirely new. I have never felt such peace and joy in my life

Good luck in your search!
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"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." St. Augustine, Confessions
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  #6  
Old Apr 11, '13, 8:08 am
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fpesce fpesce is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LivesForever View Post
As Catholics, how do you experience the Holy Spirit? What feelings are there? What does it do for you?

Thank you in advance!
Cont:

That is how you experience the Holy Spirit, by asking Him into your life.

"What feelings are there?"

The feeling you experience is Peace, Love, Confidence, Joy, Happiness, Healing, Authority, etc. all the good thing that come from our Holy Spirit.

What does it do for you?

John 14: 26,27

26“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

1 Corinthians 12

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

God Bless
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  #7  
Old Apr 11, '13, 8:11 am
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GreatergoodGod GreatergoodGod is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

Important to note that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin.
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"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18

"Feed My sheep."
John 21:17

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  #8  
Old Apr 11, '13, 8:17 am
everythingiscon everythingiscon is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

I've never cried before but I have a feeling one day I will. The Holy Spirit is very powerful, it feels like [again, I've never had touching experiences like others] just a presence.. but not just that, I feel happy whenever it cuddles with me
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  #9  
Old Apr 11, '13, 8:24 am
LivesForever LivesForever is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

Wow, thank you. I think I can relate to many of these experiences.

Have you found the Holy Spirit to be an important part of your lives? Do you feel it as part of your worship? Is it different for Catholics than for others?
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  #10  
Old Apr 11, '13, 8:27 am
Wa Michael Wa Michael is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

It is too defficult to express it verbally or in humanly-experienced terms. It sounds like 'a struggle to give a verbal explanation of love.' At least I can say that with the Holy Spirit working, one feels UNEXPLAINABLE PEACE!
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  #11  
Old Apr 11, '13, 8:33 am
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Ad Orientem Ad Orientem is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

The Holy Spirit doesn't just give us feelings. He changes our hearts and lives. He makes us desire God, believe in him, love him, and be sorry for sin. He makes us love our neighbor and endure hardship with joy. He gives us special insights about ourselves and others. He helps us to have true confidence that we can be saved. Of course we can resist his influence or put up obstacles, or just be passive and not grow, in which case we will regress. "Feelings" are nice, but not necessary to live a Spirit-filled life. If we depend too much on feelings to follow God, we do not yet love him for his own sake.
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  #12  
Old Apr 11, '13, 8:34 am
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GreatergoodGod GreatergoodGod is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LivesForever View Post
Wow, thank you. I think I can relate to many of these experiences.

Have you found the Holy Spirit to be an important part of your lives? Do you feel it as part of your worship? Is it different for Catholics than for others?
The Holy Spirit is still important to me.
__________________


"And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
Matthew 16:18

"Feed My sheep."
John 21:17

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  #13  
Old Apr 11, '13, 9:05 am
LivesForever LivesForever is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

I am just curious, because in my previous tradition, I believed that only those of my own faith had the real gift of the Holy Ghost. I am hoping to see how it is manifest in the lives of those outside it.

Also, thank you so much, everyone, for your kind answers and willingness to share with me!
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  #14  
Old Apr 11, '13, 9:11 am
CatherineFitz CatherineFitz is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

I've had an encounter with the Holy Spirit a few times, usually when being prayed over. I can only explain it as the most peaceful feeling you will ever encounter .... peace just pure peace ..... the Holy Spirit is a very important part of my prayer life. I wish you peace and happiness in your journey
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  #15  
Old Apr 11, '13, 9:40 am
J_Peterson J_Peterson is offline
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Default Re: What does the Holy Spirit feel like?

Silent presence that feels like knowledge but when you try to pinpoint what it is exactly there doesn't seem to be anything there. Not a feeling, more of an awareness of something deeper and wider.
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