Visibility of the Holy Spirit

Does anyone know how often the Holy Spirit descended and was visible? I know it was visible during the baptism of Jesus and was visible in tongues of fire on the heads of those gathered in the Upper Room. I realize the Holy Spirit is present during the Consecration but we cannot see it. I can’t, anyway! :o How about speaking in tongues? Surely, that is a “visible” sign but I’ve personally never done that, nor witnessed it. And why, when we are baptized or confirmed do we not have visible signs of the Holy Spirit? I realize I am not Jesus, of course, or an Apostle. Must I be “worthy” to witness the Holy Spirit? Sorry for so many related questions, but I hope you grasp my line of questioning. Anyone?

We are not meant to see the Holy Spirit. “Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed”, our LORD said.

Think of the Spirit as the “breath of God” into you. In fact, the word ‘spirit’ comes from Latin, Spiritus, meaning breath (from whence we get such words as respiration and inspiration). Normally, you do not see your breath, except in cold winter weather. Yet it works ceaselessly in your body to keep you alive. Likewise, the Spirit of God (who is a Divine Person of the Trinity) works in you, normally unseen, to prepare your everlasting life.


We might as well ask why Jesus or Mary don’t appear to us. It’s not a question of being ‘worthy’, it’s just not how God usually acts. He wants us to live by faith. Even though we don’t see the Spirit, we can become aware of His action in our lives. You may want to look into taking a ‘life in the spirit’ seminar when one is given at a Catholic Charismatic prayer group near you.

The Holy Spirit was visible as the brilliant Uncreated Light at the Transfiguration.

This, likewise, was a Theophany of the Three Persons.

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