Today's liturgy question


In today’s liturgy of the word the gospel of John was mentioned. The scriptures say God the father and Jesus his son. Now by son I am assuming that what is being referred to is his personage. Son, Word, and so on. My spirituality includes coming to the Son “Jesus” through Mary and through Jesus to the father. Where does the Holy Spirit come in here ?


Look to the creed.

***I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son, ***

The word*** spirit ***comes from the Latin word spiritus which means breath. The Holy Spirit is the breath of God. It is what gives us life.

It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. (John 6:63)

The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son - the Paraclete, the Helper, the Counselor, the Advocate.

"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. (John 14:15-17)

Jesus says that if we love him and obey his commandments then He and the Father will come to us and make their abode in us.

Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

By we is meant the Holy Spirit - God, the Third Person of the Trinity, dwelling inside of us to help us grow in holiness.

I recommend slowly reading and meditating on John 14 through 17.



I don’t recall the details, but the Nicene Creed establishes the Trinitarian foundation of faith. This was the creed or statement of belief that those who were baptized were taught to profess.

So, it was by about 325 AD that, as happened, there were enough variations and heretical statements that forced the explicit profession of Trinitarian personhood in one Godhead.


When he said “…I will come…” and make his dwelling place in us, does that mean him as the Word or his divine nature? As Thomism teaches Jesus’s nature is human and divine.


Be careful not to think of the three Persons of the Trinity as three Gods. (Don’t mean to imply that you do.) But for me, in my spirituality, the Holy Spirit is the “Giver of Life.” as we say in the Creed. What does that mean? It means the Holy Spirit ACTUALLY CREATED ME DIRECTLY AND PERSONALLY. The Holy Spirit is the Closest God can actually be to us, directly, every day and night. (excepting only the Holy Eucharist.) The Holy Spirit is there giving us breath, health, healing, prayer, grace, EVERYTHING. Whenever I make the sign of the cross, I emphasize the Holy Spirit in particular, as needful to my prayer. The Holy Spirit makes it possible for me to know and love Jesus and His Father in Heaven. It is how God is with us through all of life’s joys and tribulations. It is how our prayers are heard. Just as the Son is the Splendor of the Father, the Holy Spirit is the Power of God. All miracles, signs and wonders are wrought by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit overshadows the Altar at Mass transforming the offering of our bread and wine to the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ! (As is said in the Liturgy.)


What about Adam and Eve? The Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Old Testament but I don’t think in the context of Divinity.

•Psa 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
•Isa 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
•Isa 63:11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? Where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?

Perhaps something is lost in the translation? Perhaps “vivificantem” (as in the Creed) means more along the Creator of the soul?


In my opinion the English verb is a little weak here. They seemed to have chosen a cognate in the translation. The Latin is “procedit” and can be contrasted with “cedere” (go), “accedere” (go to), “discedere” (depart) “incidere” (go into), and “praecedere” (go before), and “recedere” (go back). So the Latin sense is more of a “go forth” which does not establish a new Person at the time of Christ. I think many get confused with the meaning of “proceeds from.”

In the Greek, it seems to have a different meaning, which is where the “filioque” doesn’t quite fit. But that’s another topic.


Remember though, the creed was written and confirmed by the council in Greek. The Latin is supposed to be a translation of the original Greek. Therefore the meaning in the Greek is the meaning in the Latin. Greek is far more precise.

But getting back to the “filioque;” The Latin Church is in COMPLETE AGREEMENT with the Eastern Church. The Latin use of filioque is very vague of course. But the TRUE meaning is to agree with the Eastern Church, which is that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. This meaning can be agreed upon by the Universal Church. IOW, the Father is Origination Principle of the procession; NOT BOTH the Father and the Son.


I think I see your point. “Proceeds from” has a different meaning than “Proceeds through.” (Then the Latin should be fixed as “qui ex Patre et per Filio procedit.”)

“Proceed” has a built in preposition as well. Wouldn’t the “sent forth from the Father through the Son” work better in the English? Then we can tie that better to consubstantialem Patri. (con = together with, sub = under, Patri is dative, thus “to the Father.”)

Or maybe all this talk is just playing too much with prepositions? :slight_smile:


Oh no. What you describe sounds like modalism. I go by Aquinas. The son or “image” of the father (whatever that really means) together from them came the holy spirit. But you can’t have an image of an image. But in marianism I’ve always been told that Mary brings us to her son. And he helps us to the father. I know what you’re saying about the Holy Spirit being the closeest we can come to God. But where do you get that? I thought we could get to the Father.
This is an interesting thread.


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