SPECIAL DIVINE MERCY ISSUE
FRI-SAT-SUN-MON
April 28-May 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 84

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APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH Series         INTRODUCTION

    Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

    It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices and from Old Testament Confraternity Edition and New Testament Confraternity Edition of the Saint Joseph New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life. For points covered thus far, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


installment 161:
The Holy Spirit part one

        "And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a violent wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak" (Acts 2: 1-4).

        The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is God and the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus Christ often spoke of the Holy Spirit. One of the most solemn occasions was when He charged the Apostles: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).

        On certain occasions, the Holy Spirit appeared in visible form. When Christ was baptized by Saint John the Baptist, the Holy Ghost appeared in the form of a dove. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended with a mighty rushing wind, and rested over the Apostles in the form of tongues and fire.

        The signs are symbolic of the action of the Holy Ghost. The form of a dove symbolizes the gentleness with which the Holy Spirit works in our souls. The rush of wind represents the sstrengthening of the will. The fire represents zeal, fervor, and the illumination of the mind.

        The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. This does not mean that the Holy Spirit began to exist later in time than the Father and the Son. He proceeded from them from all eternity; He is to them as warmth is to fire, existing and proceeding at the same time. There can be no fire without warmth; if there were an eternal fire, there would be an eternal warmth. So since there are the eternal Father and Son, there is the eternal Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is the eternal, mutual love that the Father and Son bear each other; but instead of being mere feeling, He is a Person, a Being, God.

        The Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son, because He is God. True, God as the Father and the Son are, the Holy Ghost is eternal, all-knowing, almighty. The Third Person is called Holy Spirit, from the Latin word spiritus, a breath. He was breaathed forth by the Father and the Son. Other names used to refer to the Holy Ghost are: Advocate, Paraclete, Consoler, Comforter, Substantial Love, Spirit of Truth, and Sanctifier,etc.

        The Holy Ghost dwells in the Church as the source of its life, and sanctifies souls through the gift of grace. Although all Divine works depend on all Three Persons, we attribute the work of santification to God the Holy Ghost, because He is the oneness of love of the Father and the Son, and the sanctification of man by grace reveals that boundless love. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).

        After Baptism, we have the Holy Spirit in our hearts and He remains with us as long as we have no mortal sin on our souls. This is the gift of "sanctifying grace." Then we say that the Spirit of God dwells in us. We should therefore treat our body with great reverence, for it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is given in a very special manner in the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders.

    Tuesday: The Holy Spirit part two

          

April 28-May 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 84
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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