The indwelling of God


I wonder what the official teaching of the roman catholic church is about the indwelling of God before batism and faith. Since I have heard catholics, munks and nuns teach that God lives in everyman because God breathed in his Spirit in man in creation.

As a lutheran it is clear that it is not before batism and faith that God lives in man. I thought it was roman catholic teaching to.

I do not want just an awnser. I would like to have a reference to an official statement about the matter.

I am engaged in the ecumenical movement with the roman catholic Church and long for more unity. That is why I ask.


The Church teaches that the normal means of indwelling of God in our souls begins in Baptism. Notice the emphasis on normal. We don’t try to limit God by saying this is the only means of the beginning of the indwelling.

The Catechism teaches this:

[683](“javascript:OpenPopupWindow(”) "No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit."1 "God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’"2 This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.

[LIST]Baptism gives us the grace of new birth in God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit. For those who bear God’s Spirit are led to the Word, that is, to the Son, and the Son presents them to the Father, and the Father confers incorruptibility on them. And it is impossible to see God’s Son without the Spirit, and no one can approach the Father without the Son, for the knowledge of the Father is the Son, and the knowledge of God’s Son is obtained through the Holy Spirit




Hey brother…
thanks for your explanation. Could you perhaps elaborate on the part I have quoted… what does it mean " the normal" versus “unnormal” indwelling??
What does the unnormal indwelling cause … I think thats the question of Jonatan…
If there is any indwelling of God in man prior to baptism and faith then what does it consist of and what does it do in the individual… it does not cause salvation or sanctification of course…
maybe its something rather vague… like the omnipresense of God that also enters man and sustains him like it does to all living things… ?
Complicated matter… :thumbsup:


and example of normal verse not normal…

God ‘indwells’ himself on the person at baptism…

Not Normal…
An infant that dies before being baptized but God still extends his graces to that Child…

God Created the sacraments for man to dispense his grace, but god is not limited BY those sacraments…

Hope that helps

In Christ


I think heisenberg adequately explained it, but I can’t resist adding my two cents worth.

Think of the good thief at the Cross. I’d call that an “un-normal” indwelling, for he didn’t receive the Holy Spirit (actually, the Holy Trinity is a better description) through the normal means of Baptism.

Think of it this way.

God promised a normal means of receiving his graces:
Baptism, the Eucharist and such.

But God doesn’t limit himself to ONLY use those means to grace us with His spirit. He may choose any means He wants to. But WE can’t dictate those means.


okay… I get your points…

But you talk about the robber on the cross next to Jesus’… He had faith in Christ: he said “remember me when you come into your kingdom” and he recognized that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah who was not guitly of the charge… So the conversion of heart thats most important of everything pertaining to Christian life, was there.
What Jonatan is referring to, I think, is the practice among some Catholics to imply that God is dwelling in every man, including the ones who do does not consciously recognise the God of the Hebrews nor the Messiah Jesus and the Holy Trinity.
These people are according to early Christianity heathens… and idolaters… which is a good reason why the early Christians had little hesitation to evangelise among them for the One True Faith.

Grace <>< :slight_smile:


This is incorrect, however. God did breathe life into Adam and Eve, but He abandoned them (or rather, they abandoned Him) during the Fall. Until the time of Jesus, God did not dwell within our souls on a normal basis.


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