Can you give some sources that recognize the Holy Spirit as the mutual love of the Father and the Son?

Yesterday, I attended a “Theology of the Body” class with workbook: Into the Heart: A Journey Through the Theology of the Body, by Christopher West, 2009.

The speaker provided the following quotation without citation in her presentation:
“God is in himself a life-giving Communion of Persons. The Father, from all eternity, is making a gift of himself to the Son. And the Son, eternally receiving the gift of the Father, makes a gift of himself back to him. The love between them is so real, so profound, that this love is another eternal Person-the Holy Spirit.”

Does anyone know the source of this quotation? A search for the citation on the internet revealed its source as Christopher West:

Does this source have roots in the Church Fathers, or traditions of the church? I have not been able to find it in the catechism.

Does identifying the Holy Spirit as the love that exists between the Father and the Son diminish the Spirit’s divine personhood and distinction from the Father and the Son, despite the fact that the quotation insists otherwise? The citation does not include any reference to support the statement that real, profound love between 2 people constitutes a wholly separate person?


The teaching that the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son precedes Christopher West by some time. Both Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas spoke of the Holy Spirit in this way.


Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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