I am finding so much to mull over in the concise choice of words of this book. The challenge is to find the right words and phrases in my own vocabulary to convey my own thoughts and understanding of the author’s meaning clearly. I hope I can do it justice, I’d love to have feedback that can further sharpen me in this important topic.
– still in Chapter 1 – The Devotion of the Catholic Church to the Holy Ghost
2. We should contemplate the operations of the Holy Ghost in the souls of the faithful, in the Church, and in the blessed in heaven. These operations are common to all three persons in the Godhead, but appropriated to the Holy Ghost: The Spirit of Truth, The Illuminator, and The Sanctifier. It is the Holy Spirit’s appropriated mission, operation, job, or activity to dispense God’s grace to man, and to make us holy, according to Romans 5:5.
Romans 5:5b (NAB): …the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Sanctify: set apart as or declare holy; consecrate.
Illuminate: Shed light upon…help to clarify or explain (a subject or matter). (late Middle English: from Latin illuminat- ‘illuminated’, from the verb illuminare, from in- ‘upon’ + lumen, lumin- ‘light’.)
The Holy Spirit’s title is the Spirit of Truth, this is His character, His Name, His role…to impart Truth to our hearts. He helps us to discern the Truth, (Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…no one comes to the Father but by me”), Jesus, who leads us to the Father. Again, when we adore the Holy Ghost, we do not exclude the others, or separate the three since the three are one, but we can recognize their distinct missions…as individual persons in the One God. I’m seeing the whole Godhead here. The Holy Spirit lights up our path, pours God’s love into our hearts and imparts the grace and Truth we need to obey God’s command to be holy as HE is holy.
3. All the works of God are activities of the One Triune God. God is our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. He is One God. The Creator and the Redeemer are not excluded from the work of Sanctification, neither is the Holy Spirit from the works of Creation and Redemption.
“We shall never exclude the Father and the Son from the divine action of our sanctification, which is proper to all the Three Persons as God; but we may speak of the office which is appropriate in the divine economy to the Third Person, that is, to the Holy Ghost. This appropriation, then, as we have seen, arises from two distinct reasons : the one is that the communication of sanctity has a special affinity to the Person of the Holy Ghost ; the other, that as the Son had a special mission into the world to redeem mankind, so the Holy Ghost has a special mission into the world to sanctify those who are faithful to the Redeemer.”
The author makes good use of repetition for important points. Over and over, God is One. The works and appropriations of the three in One, are all works of God, but appropriated to individual persons in the Godhead to dispense, according to their interaction with us. If I can ever get my brain wrapped around that, I’ll be doing good. Though the Trinity is a mystery and not meant to be understood fully on this side of glory, it is an area in which we are called to exercise our faith, and not lean on our own understanding, but trust that God’s Word revealed to His Church is faithful and true.
My brain hurts. More to come.