Relationship of Holy Spirit to non-Baptized

What is the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the non-Baptized?

IMHO - Waiting, hoping, nudging, like the parent of a prodigal son who hopes for their repentance ans return, but knows if must be voluntary and not coerced.


That’s good James, I often think of Francis Thompson’s poem, "The hound of Heaven’:D,
The Father is always standing by with his actual grace fdr his children to grab ahold of.Peace, Carlan

The same as with others, the non-baptized have a more difficult time cultivating the fruit of the Spirit

No, we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Baptism. CCC 701 “The Spirit comes down and remains in the purified hearts of the baptized.” Similarly, the Baptized are born again in the Spirit, without which no one can enter the Kingdom of God, where as the unbaptized are not (see CCC 1215). Certain extraordinary circumstances aside, the unbaptized do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling within them, but as others have said, He draws them to repentence, faith, and Baptism.

1215 This sacrament is also called “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one "can enter the kingdom of God."7

You cannot re- what does not exist, the Holy Spirit accompanies all, all through life, some ignore it, some turn away, and some embrace it. The Church teaches those who embrace it are baptized by desire/fire.

I think this specific language comes from Titus 3:3-7 :
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
But where does the metaphor of baptism as “rebirth” originate? Look at the third chapter of John:
He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
So you might be reading too much into the reflexive prefix: Jesus makes clear that the “birthing” of baptism is of a fundamentally different kind as what has gone before. He didn’t say, you know, “Your spirits must be strengthened and reconfirmed in baptism,” he said, “What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.”

Let me ask it this way. How is one capable of responding to the Holy Spirit if they have not been baptized?

Faith and Works, which really is to pray and live right.

First, thank you for asking this question. I was asking the same question of my sponsor last night because I know I’ve experienced the Holy Spirit as a non-catholic now and then through the years, but not so much as now. She explained that The Holy Spirit is everywhere, whether we recognize Him or not. At confirmation, we are not receiving something that has never been there … how could we come to the waters of baptism without having been led there? My question is similar to yours - will my relationship with the Holy Spirit be different when I am baptized and confirmed next year?

For those who know, please correct me. I really want to understand this as well.

Response to the Holy Spirit for me seems to be in learning to recognize the Holy Spirit and to follow Him.

At the Rite of Acceptance our priest marked each of us with the sign of the cross and told us individually, “Receive the sign of the cross on your forehead. It is Christ himself who now strengthens you with this sign of His love. Learn to know and to follow Him.”

Learn to know and to follow Him.

Sometimes there is something He wants me to do. And by following doing that thing, whatever it is …, I have become a little bit more attuned to how He communicates with me. That’s only happened on occasion but I’ve received some powerful and wonderful lessons.

Mostly, it seems the Holy Spirit is for me, a teacher. When I first learned about the Trinity a few months ago, I had asked about it on the forum and was given some scriptural references. I read them and I caught a passing understanding, but then it was gone. So that evening, I prayed to God as best I knew how, seeing as I didn’t really understand the nature of God, and then I picked up the catechism and read. And an understanding settled upon me for the first time and I knew the Holy Spirit was helping me to understand and was letting me know that what I was understanding was right and true and AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL! And I was overwhelmed and humbled as I came to understand the greatness of our God. I am sure THAT was the Holy Spirit teaching me. In response, I thought about what I was understanding and I let it sink in.

It’s like - the Holy Spirit is a gift that requires on our part the effort of receiving.

So, response is sometimes just a matter of recognizing Him and believing what He is teaching, or following where He is leading.

I’ve received a lot of unexpected correction through the Holy Spirit, generally through prayer. Sometimes it takes my breath away due to what I am told and how that message is delivered from someone REAL. Mostly, it’s like “time for another paradigm shift” in the way I think about particular things. My life has been heading in the wrong direction for a long time. But each time a shift happens, it’s a surprise to me.

Well, thus is the state of a catechumen, I suppose. It’s like - major life course corrections, and the one I am now experiencing is pretty big. And the Holy Spirit is guiding me.

I don’t know if that’s helpful. It’s how I’ve interpreted the experiences I’ve been having.

I do know the Holy Spirit is everywhere. And He does communicate to all people, Catholic and non-Catholic. He gives life to all of us! And His purpose is to lead us home.
So, let’s respond. Listen and Follow.


Thank you for your post, T Hope, “So let’s respond ,listen and follow” that is our part. The Father stands by with his actual grace patiently waiting for all of us to surrender to Him in our sin for his forgiveness and redemption.Then the process begins. God bless you, Peace, Carlan

But why do some respond and others not? and what constitutes an acceptable response to the Holy Spirit?.. Who does God call?

I would say the evil:eek:one is most powerful,and for someone wallowing in sin he has a strangle hold. Many of us have to come to the end of our rope in misery,before we can let go and let God(who is right there with His saving grace)God requires us to repent and ask for his forgiveness.God calls all his children, he wants to save us all. No exception.:thumbsup::)God bless, Peace, Carlan

Concupiscence = Fallen Nature = strong desires to power, sex, worldly goods. One has to lead them self out of that to answer the call of the Holy Spirit, unless they follow the Church which exists specifically to lead us.

Well I agree with most of what’s been written. But I’m still wondering why/how one person responds to God’s call when another does not. Is it possible most of us are in the process of responding in some way, perhaps internally?.. and can one actually resist God’s call, in the long run?

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; and those he called he also justified; and those he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30

So who did God call? And by who’s power are we sanctified?

Calgum, so much is mystery,and we accept in faith as Truth, we pray for understanding always,yes and perseverance in faith, God will give us peace in contemplating these Mysteries and there are many, the Virgin Birth, the Incarnation, the Trinity…God bless you. Peace, Carlan

Pride !!!

and what constitutes an acceptable response to the Holy Spirit?..

Any positive response is acceptable. Such positive responses are when one chooses to submit their will to God’s will.

Who does God call?

God Calls All in the sense that we all have within us a soul made by God that wishes to return to Him. It only awaits our response to that call.


Thanks, James, and I thank Catholic Answers, this oldie recieves so much from these forums.:slight_smile: Carlan

When I asked the question “How does the Holy Spirit relate to the non-Baptized” I really was wondering if the Church had addressed this issue and where I might find a citation. It turned out to be a very good and informative conversation. I too am thankful for this forum; this is my first crack at any kind of message board so please forgive me if my etiquette is off.

James, Texasroofer, Carlan and those that posted earlier your messages were thoughtful and provoking. Texasroofer, the battle against sin is certainly a daily fight and I win some and lose way too many, James, pride is no-doubt the devils most powerful weapon and Carlan, I certainly agree, God’s mysteries are in fact mysteries, for who can know the mind of God? At the same time we’re told to put on the mind of Christ, and I’m trying to grasp how the Holy Spirit is at work in others and what evidence there may be of that despite sometimes overwhelming evidence of sin and evil. If I can find real evidence of the Holy Spirit, I have real common ground with even someone I might perceive as my enemy.

In my reading of the Old Testament, I’m not sure there was a lot of good works back then performed, other than through God’s anointed. Maybe I missed something, but it seemed there was little charity outside the confines of the prophets and those chosen by God.
Today, I see evidence of many good works done by many people not proclaiming to be Christians at all and many of my brothers and sisters seem to be calling those good works evil. If it is in fact the work of the Holy Spirit that is the cause of all good, well that changes my attitude, approach and willingness to work together with others drastically.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about merely finding common ground with others that mirror nearly all of my beliefs, I mean attempting to make a connection (without judgment) with those in which there may be only one common denominator and many large walls. I mean forming relationships that are non-judgmental, non-proselytizing and sincere. Of course I know the Church teaches this concept, but in my Parish it’s hard to find others that embrace it.

That’s where I’m coming from. Thanks for all of the insights you’ve all provided or wish to add.


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