Is the Holy Spirit Neglected?

I had been thinking of starting a thread on this topic and then someone in another thread remarked that the Holy Spirit is sometimes neglected.

As a Protestant, the Holy Spirit of course is the comforter, but the Holy Spirit also reveals things to individual people. It is not rare to hear a Protestant say, the Holy Spirit told me to not take this route, or not take this action in my life.

Do Catholics say such things or get such revelations?

Is the Holy Spirit ever implored to come down on a gathering or congregation? Do you ever feel the “moving of the Spirit?” – that is to say the palpable presence of God moving through a room just like in the Upper Room where the disciples were waiting for the Spirit. It’s probably that charismatic Catholics might feel such things, but is it standard Catholic Doctrine?

So far, I have seen quite a lot of mention of God the Father, Jesus and Mary.

But aside from when we say, In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I don’t see much mention of the Holy Spirit.

How do you pay homage to the Holy Spirit?

And please don’t say when we pray to God, we’re praying to the Triune God.

Thanks for your patience.

Short answer: yes.

Long answer:
The Holy Spirit is invoked at many times during the Liturgy. For instance, in the Divine Office we recite the Glory Be after the psalms and canticles. As to paying homage, there are feast days related directly to the Holy Spirit, such as Pentecost. The priest beseeches the Holy Spirit during the Mass to effect the transubstantiation. The Holy Spirit is endowed into the Catholic Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. In that capacity, He unites us and binds us. He is the Dispenser of grace upon believers and the Church. We receive Him at Baptism (and confirmation??). Yes, there’s a lot. But I don’t know if its overt enough for people to register it. Sometimes I feel people need a big whack upside the head to get things.:smiley:

As far as people saying they were guided by the Spirit, I personally haven’t heard many of the laity say so. But I’m not sure if that’s the norm. My confessor/spiritual director told me to cultivate a relationship in prayer with the HS so personally I pray to Him for wisdom, grace and guidance a lot!

Maybe this will give you perspective: when I got confirmed a few years back after reverting, the priest at the RCIA class said that people do neglect to pray to the HS and he implored us to not forget about Him. He said we tend not to think about the HS.

Perhaps the Spirit is too abstract for people. They like concrete, sensual (as in exciting the senses) things. Jesus is easy to comprehend and process. Just a thought…

Catholics do indeed pay attention to the Holy Spirit. He is active in our lives. The Holy Spirit leads us and guides us, He converts us, convinces us and speaks to us in our consciences. It was by the Holy Spirit that Jesus was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to the Apostles, and Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit was given to the Church, is one of the greatest feasts of the Church. We pray to the Holy Spirit all the time. The Holy Spirit was given to the Church to help lead it and protect it from error. The Prayer to the Holy Spirit is one of the most beloved prayers in the Church. There are Novenas to the Holy Spirit, Litanies to the Holy Spirit, and other prayers to the Holy Spirit. He has guided us throughout history in our councils.

He is given to us at Baptism, and again in a fuller way at Confirmation. He is invoked at every Mass during the Eucharistic Prayer. I could write 3 pages on the importance of the Holy Spirit to Catholics, but this is enough, and it only scratches the surface.

You probably just aren’t familiar enough with Catholicism to appreciate the tremendous role the Holy Spirit plays in our church and our lives. I have many times felt the “movement” of the Holy Spirit at Mass and when gathering with other Catholics, and I know others have too. The Charismatics may express their relationship with the Holy Spirit more vocally (which I appreciate, having been a part of that), but that does not mean that other Catholics don’t experience Him just as fully and personally. His voice is also the quiet voice, the whisper heard in our hearts, and that is just as powerful.

You’re well on your way to needing a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church :slight_smile:

Holy Spirit

beginning of life in, 1231
blasphemy against, 1864
Christian anointed by, 1241
Christian as a temple of, 1197, 1265
consubstantial with the Father and the Son, 685, 689
in the Creed, 190
desires of the Holy Spirit that satisfy man’s heart are contrary to the desires of the flesh, 2541-43
grace of Holy Spirit and justification, 1987-95, 2003
invoking the outpouring of, 1083, 1196, 1299, 1353, 2670-72
man as a temple of, 364, 782, 2519
man participates in the light and power of, 1704
meaning of the term “Spirit,” 691
new law of, 782
power of the Spirit of holiness recognized in the canonized faithful, 828
praying with and in conformity with the, 2736, 2756
presence and action of the Holy Spirit in human faculties, 1813
purposes of the mission of, 1108
renewal by, 1215
revelation of, 243-45, 683, 686-87
Trinity and, 253-55, 263

gifts of the Holy Spirit, 1830-32
charism of healing, 1508
charisms, 799, 951
charity as the fruit of the Holy Spirit and of the fullness of the Law, 1824
chastity, 2345
in Confirmation, 1289, 1303
in episcopal consecration, 1556, 1558
fear of God, 2217
fruits of the Holy Spirit, 736, 1832
grace, 2003
grace of repentance and conversion, 1433
love, 733, 735, 2712
in the power of forgiving sins, 976
in the sacrament of
Anointing of the Sick, 1520
Holy Orders, 1538, 1585-89
Matrimony, 1624
seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, 1831, 1845
what is necessary for receiving, 1310
wisdom, faith, and discernment, 2690

Holy Spirit and Christ
in Christ’s ministry, 535, 555
in Christ’s prayer, 2600
in communion with Christ, 1286
conjoined mission of the Son and the, 485, 680, 690, 727
as the gift of Christ, 729, 1287
and the mystery of Christ, 1099, 1104-07
prepares for the reception of Christ, 1093-98, 1113
recalls the mystery of Christ, 1099-107
relation between the Holy Spirit and Jesus, 739, 747, 797, 1108
in the Resurrection, 648
reveals Jesus Christ, 152, 683, 687, 689, 702, 727-30, 1092, 1112
reveals the Father and the Son, 243-48, 687

Holy Spirit and the Church, 738-41
action in the sacraments, 1116, 1127-29, 1152, 1155, 1227, 1316
bestows hierarchical and charismatic gifts, 768
bestows the primary elements of the whole of the Church’s mission, 852
builds up and sanctifies the Church, 747
changes bread and wine, 1333
chooses suitable ministers, 1142
Church as the temple of the, 797-801
communion of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy, 1108-09
given to the apostles and in apostolic succession, 1087
leads the Church on her missionary paths, 852
new Law and the Law of the Gospel as the grace of, 1965-66
outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Baptism, 784, 786
outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation, 1302, 1316
as the source of the Church’s life and holiness, 749, 767-68, 867
“Where the Church is, there also is God’s Spirit” and vice-versa, 797
work of the Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles, 2640

Holy Spirit in the Economy of Salvation
bestows gifts to all, 2003
cleanses us from our sins, 1987
compels Christians towards unity, 738
converts the human heart, 1989
enlightens, strengthens, and renews the Christian, 1695, 1769
gives an outpouring at the end-time, 2819
helps and sustains faith, 94, 152, 158, 175, 683-84
inspires and transmits Revelation, 76, 81, 105
intercedes for men, 2634
interprets Scripture, 109-19, 137
believers to the truth, 79
the faithful, 79, 91, 737, 1697, 1742
to a life of prayer, 2623, 2644, 2803
as the master of prayer, 741, 2625, 2630, 2650, 2670, 2681, 2711, 2726, 2766
preserves and animates creation, 291, 703
as principal author of Sacred Scripture, 137, 304
restores the divine likeness to man, 720, 734
as the source of all holiness, 749
at work in the economy of salvation, 685

Holy Spirit and Mary
as author of the Incarnation of the Word in Mary, 456, 484-86
Mary prepared by the, 493, 721-22

titles of the Holy Spirit
according to Saint Paul, 693
Consoler, 1433
Creator Spirit, 291
the giver of life, 291
Paraclete, 692
as the proper name, 691
source of goodness, 291
the Spirit of truth, 692, 1848, 2466

outpouring of the Holy Spirit
Christian celebrations and, 1104
effects of, 686, 706, 759, 1076, 1229
as fulfillment of Christ’s Passover, 667, 731
laying on of hands for, 699
in our present time, 2819
in the sacrament of Confirmation, 1299, 1302
in the sacrament of Holy Orders, 1573
upon the apostles for their mission, 1287, 1556

prophetic promise
in creation, 703-04
on the day of Pentecost, 731-32
expectation of the Messiah and His Spirit, 711-16
from the beginning, 702
in the fullness of time, 717-30
in Jesus Christ, 727-30
in John the Baptist, 717-20
in the Kingdom and the Exile, 709-10
made to Abraham, 705-06
in Mary, 721-26
in theophanies, 707-08

symbols of the Holy Spirit
anointing, 695
clouds, 555, 697
dove, 535, 701
finger of God, 700
fire, 696
hand, 699
light, 697
seal, 698, 1295-96
water, 694, 1137, 2652

Pope Benedicts’ condensed Cathechism - called the “Compendium of the Catholic Church” can also be found online however it doesn’t have a keyword index: Believe in the Holy Spirit

I Believe in the Holy Spirit

  1. What does the Church mean when she confesses: “I believe in the Holy Spirit”?


To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess faith in the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity who proceeds from the Father and the Son and “is worshipped and glorified with the Father and the Son”. The Spirit is “sent into our hearts” (Galatians 4:6) so that we might receive new life as sons of God.

  1. Why are the missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit inseparable?


In the indivisible Trinity, the Son and the Spirit are distinct but inseparable. From the very beginning until the end of time, when the Father sends his Son he also sends his Spirit who unites us to Christ in faith so that as adopted sons we can call God “Father” (Romans 8:15). The Spirit is invisible but we know him through his actions, when he reveals the Word to us and when he acts in the Church.

  1. What are the names of the Holy Spirit?


“The Holy Spirit” is the proper name of the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Jesus also called him the Paraclete (Consoler or Advocate) and the Spirit of Truth. The New Testament also refers to him as the Spirit of Christ, of the Lord, of God - the Spirit of Glory and the Spirit of the Promise.

  1. What symbols are used to represent the Holy Spirit?


There are many symbols of the Holy Spirit: living water which springs from the wounded Heart of Christ and which quenches the thirst of the baptized; anointing with oil, which is the sacramental sign of Confirmation; fire which transforms what it touches; the cloud, dark or luminous, in which the divine glory is revealed; the imposition of hands by which the Holy Spirit is given; the dove which descended on Christ at his baptism and remained with him.

  1. What does it mean that the Spirit “has spoken through the prophets”?


The term “prophets” means those who were inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak in the name of God. The Spirit brings the prophecies of the Old Testament to their complete fulfillment in Christ whose mystery he reveals in the New Testament.

  1. What did the Holy Spirit accomplish in John the Baptist?


The Spirit filled John the Baptist, who was the last prophet of the Old Testament. Under his inspiration John was sent to “prepare for the Lord a people well disposed” (Luke 1:17). He was to proclaim the coming of Christ, the Son of God, upon whom he saw the Spirit descend and remain, the one who “baptizes with the Spirit” (John 1:33).

  1. What is the work of the Spirit in Mary?


The Holy Spirit brought to fulfillment in Mary all the waiting and the preparation of the Old Testament for the coming of Christ. In a singular way he filled her with grace and made her virginity fruitful so that she could give birth to the Son of God made flesh. He made her the Mother of the “whole Christ”, that is, of Jesus the Head and of the Church his body. Mary was present with the twelve on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit inaugurated the “last days” with the manifestation of the Church.

  1. What is the relationship between the Spirit and Christ Jesus in his earthly mission?


Beginning with his Incarnation, the Son of God was consecrated in his humanity as the Messiah by means of the anointing of the Spirit. He revealed the Spirit in his teaching, fulfilled the promises made to the Fathers, and bestowed him upon the Church at its birth when he breathed on the apostles after the Resurrection.

  1. What happened at Pentecost?


Fifty days after the Resurrection at Pentecost the glorified Jesus Christ poured out the Spirit in abundance and revealed him as a divine Person so that the Holy Trinity was fully manifest. The mission of Christ and of the Spirit became the mission of the Church which is sent to proclaim and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity.

“We have seen the true Light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith: we adore the indivisible Trinity, who has saved us.” (Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion of Vespers of Pentecost)

  1. What does the Spirit do in the Church?


The Spirit builds, animates and sanctifies the Church. As the Spirit of Love, he restores to the baptized the divine likeness that was lost through sin and causes them to live in Christ the very life of the Holy Trinity. He sends them forth to bear witness to the Truth of Christ and he organizes them in their respective functions so that all might bear “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22).

  1. How do Christ and his Spirit act in the hearts of the faithful?


Christ communicates his Spirit and the grace of God through the sacraments to all the members of the Church, who thus bear the fruits of the new life of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is also the Master of prayer.

There was a Gnostic heresy which claimed that teh old Testament was the time of the Father, from Jesus Christ to their time, the time of the Son, but now we live in the time and influence of the Holy Spirit, who (naturally) revealed Himself through the gnostic teaching.

Some protestants, especially the charismatics are tending toward this heresy.

We honor the Holy Spirit who reveals Himself through the Hierarchy, and influences our life through the Sacraments and the sanctifying grace.

He is Spirit, not visible, not immediately experienceable.

I’m a cradle Catholic. I have always understood that the Holy Spirit (we called it Holy Ghost whe I was a child. Not sure when or why that changed) was ever present. I think Scripture confirms that although I haven’t looked to see what the Church’s official position is on that. So, because the HS is ever present we need not invoke him, but I guess it’s altogether proper to honor and pay homage. I think the problem occurs in that as far my understanding goes, the HS whispers very quietly to us. The noise of the world makes it very difficult to hear the whisper. And, I don’t mean the literal noise. I mean the noise of everyday worries over food, shelter, etc. This is why we need quiet time to reflect and pray that we might be stilled and hear the message. My theory is that because people are too often not trying to be still they fail to hear the Spirit and assume he’s not there.

I have to say that I have many times felt and heard the Spirit in powerful and forceful ways both alone and in group settings. I have seen the Spirit at work in my life in a very real sense. At other times, like now, I strain to hear and be guided. The thing is that I just don’t believe that any amount of hand waving, shouting or other ways of making a spectacle of myself will bring the spirit any closer to me or put him to work in my life. He’s already there. I don’t think that putting a symbol on my car or on my clothing does anything except dispaly vanity. Will any of these things make me more holy or bring me closer to God. I worry that the Charismatic movement, inside the Catholic Church, is more about protestant influence than anything else.

In my childhood, Casper the Friendly Ghost was the prefigurement of the Holy Ghost. :smiley:

Lord help the kids today, where spirits on being hunted with infrared light and spooking people out of old buildings.

As well as the Catechism references you might like to read True Devotion to the Holy Spirit (Former title: The Sanctifer) by Archbishop Luis M Martinez.

“In these pages, he provides a clear, comprehensive introduction tot he work and the importance of the Holy Spirit in every Christian’s life.”

" Every Catholic serious about the spiritual life needs to read this profound and beautiful book and meditate upon it." Fr Benedict Groeschel

Awesome! Sounds like a beautiful relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Thanks. The last paragraphs were especially helpful because they speak of the Holy Spirits role in the life of the believer.

The Holy Spirit is the Love of God. The Holy Spirit is the living memory of the church.

Hi Laszlo,

Correct me if I’m wrong but are you saying the Holy Spirit only works through the hierarchy and sacraments?

What do you mean by not immediately experienceable?

Well stated. In order to hear the still small voice of the Spirit one does have to be in a state to hear it and that cones with much prayer and focusing on spiritual things.

Although one doesn’t need loud noise and clamor, it doesn’t mean one can’t have that dies it?

Regarding the charismatics, I tend to think of them as similar to Pentecostal but I don’t know any.

Any charismatics here?

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