Why did the Holy Spirit had to be sent in order for the Sacraments to be effective?

I was listening yesterday to the writings of some saints, now I am not 100% percent sure if it was from the sermons of Saint John Vianney that I heard the Holy Spirit had to be sent for the sacraments to be effective, but, it was from the writings of one of many saints I have been listening to. At any rate, I wonder why the Holy Spirit had to be sent in order for the Sacraments to be effective. Couldn’t Jesus after His resurrection give grace before He rose?


…it is confounding, how God works… this is similar to Jesus’ statement when sending out the 72 disciples among the people of Israel:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

(St. Luke 10:1-2)
…clearly, Jesus, being Divine, did not need to have His disciples pray to the Father for additional workers… He could have simply expanded His Ministry’s scope (send 720 or 7200…)

…yet, He establishes this dependency upon God’s Providence… and, as I believe, He establishes the Communion of the Saints (Temporal Church United with God’s Throne in Heaven).

…and while it is true that Jesus could have augmented the understanding of the Disciples before His Ascension, there was an established parameter in God’s Salvific Plan to which He would stay true (’…the hour is coming, and it is NOW, when true worshipers will worship in Spirit and Truth…’ ‘…that Day only, the Father knows…’ ‘…it is not yet my time…’ ‘…there are more things that I have to tell you, but you cannot stand [understand/be able to accept] now… but the other Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, which I will send from the Father, He, will bring you to the Fullness of Truth…’).

The development of the Church’s Doctrine had to await for the Immergence of the Church… remember Jesus’ reply to those who commented: ‘why do your disciples not fast, as those of John’s and the Pharisees’ do?’ …Jesus told them that the friends of the Bridegroom had no need to fast while He was amongst them–they would fast when He would be taken from them… in other words, there’s a time and place for things…

The Church would Immerge at Pentecost to fulfill the Promise of the prophecy:

17 "‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.

18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.

(Acts 2:17-18–see Joel 2:17-18+)
…the very first event at Pentecost is St. Peter’s Confession of Faith and Evangelization of those who had gathered about the Church:

…38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call…

(Acts 2:14-41)

Merry Christmas!
Maran atha!



Thank you for your response jcrichton and Merry Christmas to you.

Ummm, interesting. So, what role did the baptisms of John play even as they were not done as a sacrament?

Abba. You asked:

what role did the baptisms of John play even as they were not done as a sacrament?

The Baptism of John the Baptist was merely a prefigurement or forshadowing of the “good things to come”.

The Baptism of John the Baptist was not Christian Baptism, but “a baptism of repentance” . . . . a MERE baptism of repentance.

*]That’s WHY people who received John the Baptist’s baptism still needed to be Baptized (this Baptism they still needed was NOT a RE-Baptism by the way as it was their first and only Christian Baptism they needed).
*]That’s WHY people who received John the Baptist’s baptism still needed to be baptized into Christ Jesus (by being Baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” we are told in Matthew 28:19).

*]That’s WHY people who received John the Baptist’s baptism still needed to be Baptized and RECEIVE the Holy Spirit.

You can see “disciples” who had already received John the Baptist’s baptism realize their need for Christian Baptism after conferring with St. Paul . . . .

(More on this is here).

Hope this helps.

God bless.


Because THEY are

FROM God, By God and THROUGH GOD [Grace]:thumbsup:

Great question, thanks


Merry Christmas


Sorry, but, I still don’t understand.

Jesus is God.:shrug:


…again we have to follow what is happening…

The Promise of the Messiah would be preceded by His herald… John the Baptist (the NT’s Elijah) would come to prepare the people of God for His Coming as was prophesied in the Old Testament…

…the messenger would make the pronouncement that Israel’s Savior was Coming… the Word Incarnate had to Come to Israel in the Old Testament’s Economy (remember John’s suggestion that Jesus Baptize him, instead?), Announce the Kingdom of God, gather and rescue the sheep, bring into effect the Promise (healings, preaching, rescuing), be rejected, despised, betrayed, given to the foreigners, and be put to death; then and only then would the New Testament’s Economy be established: Pentecost: Coming of the Holy Spirit!

…John’s Baptism was a Baptism of preparation for the people of Israel… that is why John kept insisting that *he *was not the One the was to Come… that *he *only Baptized in water but that the One Who was to Come would Baptize in water and in the Holy Spirit.

[FONT=“Palatino Linotype”][size=]Merry Christmas!
Maran atha!



Yes, yes, of course. Thank you, Angel.

But, I still don’t understand why Jesus had to go to heaven and send the Holy Spirit in order for the sacraments to be effective. Why couldn’t the Holy Spirit come even though Jesus had not yet risen? Why did He tell the woman at the tomb not to touch Him as He had not yet risen yet He let Thomas touch Him? I wonder if having to tell the woman not to touch Him has anything to do with Him having to rise before sending the Holy Spirit. It just raises the question to me, could only one of the three be away at a time. :shrug: But, of course, now we have the Holy Spirit and Jesus, so that couldn’t be, but, maybe it was the case when He resurrected for some reason.

Merry Christmas!

The Catholic Encyclopedia has that:

“The charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us” (Romans 5:5). He is essentially the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17; 15:26), Whose office it is to strengthen faith (Acts 6:5), to bestow wisdom (Acts 6:3), to give testimony of Christ, that is to say, to confirm His teaching inwardly (John 15:26), and to teach the Apostles the full meaning of it (John 14:26; 16:13). With these Apostles He will abide for ever (John 14:16). Having descended on them at Pentecost, He will guide them in their work (Acts 8:29), for He will inspire the new prophets (Acts 11:28; 13:9), as He inspired the Prophets of the Old Law (Acts 7:51). He is the source of graces and gifts (1 Corinthians 12:3-11); He, in particular, grants the gift of tongues (Acts 2:4; 10:44-47). And as he dwells in our bodies sanctifies them (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19), so will and them he raise them again, one day, from the dead (Romans 8:11). But he operates especially in the soul, giving it a new life (Romans 8:9 sq.), being the pledge that God has given us that we are his children (Romans 8:14-16; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Galatians 4:6). He is the Spirit of God, and at the same time the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9); because He is in God, He knows the deepest mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), and He possesses all knowledge. St. Paul ends his Second Epistle to the Corinthians (13:13) with this formula of benediction, which might be called a blessing of the Trinity: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity of God, and the communication of the Holy Ghost be with you all.” — Cf. Tixeront, “Hist. des dogmes”, Paris, 1905, I, 80, 89, 90, 100, 101.


The gifts of the Holy Ghost are of two kinds: the first are specially intended for the sanctification of the person who receives them; the second, more properly called charismata, are extraordinary favours granted for the help of another, favours, too, which do not sanctify by themselves, and may even be separated from sanctifying grace. Those of the first class are accounted seven in number, as enumerated by Isaias (11:2-3), where the prophet sees and describes them in the Messias. They are the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety (godliness), and fear of the Lord.
*]The gift of wisdom, by detaching us from the world, makes us relish and love only the things of heaven.
*]The gift of understanding helps us to grasp the truths of religion as far as is necessary.
*]The gift of counsel springs from supernatural prudence, and enables us to see and choose correctly what will help most to the glory of God and our own salvation.
*]By the gift of fortitude we receive courage to overcome the obstacles and difficulties that arise in the practice of our religious duties.
*]The gift of knowledge points out to us the path to follow and the dangers to avoid in order to reach heaven.
*]The gift of piety, by inspiring us with a tender and filial confidence in God, makes us joyfully embrace all that pertains to His service.
*]Lastly, the gift of fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread, above all things, to offend Him.[/LIST]
As to the inner nature of these gifts, theologians consider them to be supernatural and permanent qualities, which make us attentive to the voice of God, which render us susceptible to the workings of actual grace, which make us love the things of God, and, consequently, render us more obedient and docile to the inspirations of the Holy Ghost.

Forget, J. (1910). Holy Ghost. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. newadvent.org/cathen/07409a.htm


…I know exactly what you mean… Jesus seems to be both concealing and divulging Heavenly matters…

…to me it’s like a tweaking of a mechanism (it happens almost perfectly when a couple embrace marriage as a Sacrament that unites them–one body–in Christ’s Body); it’s a give and take, a push and pull… almost as though He is prodding our spirit… to awaken to that Revelation of St. John’s 4:24; yet, He is respectful of our finite understanding and slow growth…

…as I have stated before, Scriptures are not meant to confine God’s Omnipotence, Mercy, Justice, etc.–Scriptures are God’s mean to bring us His Revelations: I Am Yahweh God, you should not have other gods beside Me!

…this first Revelation is unfolded as it brings us into God’s Salvific Plan…

…within Scriptures, God gives us windows into His Existence and into His Plan… we find that God does not want anyone to die (Ezekiel 18); but He knows that not all will choose to accept Him (St. John 1, 3)… then we have Jesus’ Revelations and Jesus interactions… they don’t always conform to what seems to be prescribed in Scriptures… the passage you’ve cited is a perfect example… Jesus will Ascend into Heaven only after He Reveals Himself to the Eleven and many other disciples… yet we have His Promise to the good thief: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (St. Luke 23:43)… wait, what?
…then we have the Revelation that, in the Spirit, He preached to those spirits that were imprisoned (1 St. Peter 3:18-20)… what, now?

…now after His Resurrection we find some of those perplexing events… when Magdalene attempts to hold Him, Jesus stops her and warns that He has not yet ascended to the Father… this is so puzzling… we Know, from His Word, that He and the Father and One and that He is never Alone…

…so this must go to mechanism… Jesus, in the human form had to fulfill the Scriptures (rejection, torture, death, and resurrection); that human body had not yet ascended to the Father as Jesus had just Resurrected when Magdalene met with Him… so Magdalene runs to the Eleven to bring them the NEWS… why did Jesus not precede her to meet with the Eleven? …He went to the Father (private ascension). By the time Thomas sees Jesus, the Resurrected body has been with the Father and is now corporeal but also Glorified! (IMO: Scriptures do not demonstrate definitively that Thomas did actually place his fingers and hand in Jesus’ wounds; Scriptures only state that Jesus offered that Thomas do as he claimed that he had to do before he would believe… Jesus’ words imply that Thomas did not have enough trust in God to believe the Disciples’ words that Jesus had risen–Jesus does not say: ‘because you have touched you believe;’ rather, Jesus says that ‘because you have seen, you believe.’)

…as for the Holy Spirit awaiting Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven, this falls, in my estimation, to God’s Salvific Plan… though the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, He Reveals Himself and interacts with man only as One Person at a time… In God’s Plan, the Father deals directly with man in the Old Testament. After the Revelations are made about the Messiah, it is the Incarnate Word that deals directly with man. After Jesus’ Ascension, it is the Holy Spirit that Comes to the Church to dwell with and in the Believers… the Scriptures Reveal this mechanism as we find almost no mention of direct interaction of Christ and the Holy Spirit during OT times; then, the Messiah Brings the Good News, introduces us to the Father, and Promises that He will send the other Paraclete, the Holy Spirit; only after Christ’s Ascension is it Revealed that the Holy Spirit is that same God of the Old Testament that made things Known to man.

[FONT=“Palatino Linotype”][size=]Merry Christmas!
Maran atha!



THANKS for reasking:)

Allow me to try again.

Salvation as an absolute HAS TO, [can only] be as man’s response to God’s free OFFER of his necessary grace [which is why we Catholics have an inside track. so to speak, due to the Seven Sacraments; ALL instituted By Christ. Each of the 7 are a source of God’s grace, in amounts dependent upon the right Form and the right disposition in receiving them.

Right Understanding [singular per defined issue], is a GIFT from God the Holy Spirit. But as GOD is “Triune” what one desires, they ALL desire. What one grants, they ALL grant.

Each member of the Trinity has a role to exercise in man’s possible salvation. Yet every Grace, & every Gift flows from the Trinity as well as the Father, Son or Holy Spirit. They are separate but unable to be “truly”- “separated.” A PART OF THIS “YOU”

God the Holy Spirit:

Ephesians 1:13
In whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth, (the gospel of your salvation;) in whom also believing, you were signed with the holy Spirit of promise

John 14:26
But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. WE, EACH OF US IS POTENTIALLY A PART OG THIS “YOU”:thumbsup:

1 Thessalonians 4:8
Therefore, he that despiseth these things, despiseth not man, but God, who also hath given his holy Spirit in us.

John 3:8
The Spirit breatheth where he will; and thou hearest his voice, but thou knowest not whence he cometh, and whither he goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit

1 Corinthians 12:11
But all these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as he will.

John 15:26
But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me.

So ALL RIGHT understanding on ALL faith issues emanates [originates] from GOD through the Holy Spirit, but IS desired by also the Father & the Son.

Does this help? If not please ask again, this is important to be able to comprehend.

God Bless you, PRAY much


It is simple. In the old testament. The holy spirit only functioned. With the prophet. Priest. And king. As moses said in numbers 11:29 God desired that all his people were prophets. In 1 core 14. Saint Paul said desire to prophecy. And forbid Not praying in tongues.

This perspective might help. God is three Persons in One Nature. Jesus Christ is one Person with two natures. God is the Most Holy Trinity. God as the Most Holy Trinity is present when the outward signs of the Sacarament are present.

The Trinity is a Mystery.

The human person is worthy of profound respect.

It is the Spirit that gives life. John 6:64

If the Spirit is not in the Sacraments, then they are empty physical rituals.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.