The Holy Spirit as Power

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The Holy Spirit (depicted in the Window of the Apsis) dominates the Throne of Saint Peter -
by BERNINI, Gian Lorenzo, from San Pietro, Rome


Paraclete (Latin <Consolator>; Greek <Parakletos>), an Appellation of the Holy Ghost. Variously translated "Advocate", "Intercessor", "Teacher", "Helper", "Comforter". According to St John, the Mission of the Paraclete is to Abide with the Disciples after Jesus has withdrawn His Visible-Presence from them; to Inwardly Bring-home to them the Teaching Externally given by Christ and thus to Stand as a Witness to the Doctrine and Work of the Savior. There is no reason for limiting to the Apostles themselves the Comforting Influence of the Paraclete. The Paraclete Comforts the Church by Guaranteeing her Inerrancy and Fostering Her Sanctity. He Comforts each Individual Soul in many ways. Every Salutary Condition, Power, and Action, in fact the Whole Range of our Salvation, comes within the Comforter's Mission. Its Extraordinary Effects are styled Gifts, Fruits, Beatitudes. Its Ordinary Working is Sanctification with all it entails, Habitual Grace, Infused Virtues, Adoption, and the Right to the Celestial Inheritance. "The Charity of God", says St Paul, "is Poured-forth in our Hearts by the Holy Ghost Who is given to us". In that Passage the Paraclete is both the Giver and the Gift: the Giver of Grace (<Donum Creatum>) and the Gift of the Father and the Son (<Donum Increatum>). St Paul teaches repeatedly that:

the Holy Ghost dwells in us.

from the Catholic Encyclopedia


Supernatural Order
( If you are in the State of Sanctifying Grace,
the Holy Ghost dwells 'in-you'
in a very Special and Personal way.

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)




(Dominant Partner)

Supernatural Grace/
Infused Virtues
and Gifts of the
Holy Ghost

The Supernatural Order is the Ensemble of Effects exceeding the Powers of the Created Universe, and Gratuitously produced directly by God for the purpose of Raising the Rational Creature above its Natural Sphere to a God-like Life and Destiny.



The Holy Spirit as Power

by Father John A. Hardon, S.J.

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We speak of the Holy Spirit in many different ways: as Love, as Gift, as the Paraclete, as the Advocate. All of these Titles are Biblical and Identify some of the Profound Attributes of the Spirit Promised by Christ before His Ascension into Heaven. But there is one that we especially need to recognize today and that is the Spirit as Power. What does this Spirit as Power really mean? Let us analyze it in the Three (3) Gifts of the Holy Spirit which Pertain to the Will.


Definition of Will
The Soul's Will is the Power by which we Deliberately and Freely Choose to "Act" or "not to Act"; the Appetitive Power of the Intellect. The Will is an Intellectual Appetite and must follow Intellect. The Will is subordinated to the Intellect, its Acts must be about what the Intellect presents to it. By its Nature, it always tends to the Good.

Synonymous with a Man's Heart.


Gifts of the Holy Spirit pertaining to the Will

fire1.gif (6156 bytes) Piety



fire1.gif (6156 bytes) Fortitude



fire1.gif (6156 bytes) Fear of the Lord




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First Gift of Power - Piety

Piety as a Gift of the Holy Spirit Aids and Supplements the Virtue of Justice. This Gift corresponds to the Virtue of Justice, making us prompt to Act by disposing us to show Reverence for God as a most Loving Father, and for all Human Beings as Children of God. Consequently, this Virtue of Piety corresponds to the Instinct we have and the Virtue we should Practice toward our Natural Parents, and the Respect and Reverence for God Precisely as the Creator. This Gift of Piety, Raised to the Supernatural Order, Inclines us to not only Worship God but to Honor His Children who are Related to us by Grace. It inclines us to consider others not as Competitors in the Struggle of Life, but Coequals under God, our Common Maker, regarding them as our Brothers and Sisters through the Saving Merits of Christ's Passion.


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Second Gift of Power - Fortitude

Fortitude as a Gift Perfects the Virtue of Fortitude. It adds to the Virtue of Courage the Important Commodity of Enabling us to Carry to Successful Conclusion the Most Difficult Tasks that are undertaken in the Service of God. There are Two (2) Forms of Courage implied in this Gift of Fortitude: the Gift to Undertake Arduous tasks and the Gift to Endure Long and Trying Difficulties for the Divine Glory. A Commendable Type of Courage anticipates Grave Obstacles while Undertaking a Course-of-Action or a State-of-Life or a New-Venture in the Spiritual Life or any Apostolate, but the Obstacles, Vaguely Foreseen, are Faced with a Quiet Trust in Providence that inspires Willingness to Suffer in the Prosecution of the Plan. Another Form of Courage Augments this Dauntless Spirit and Continues what someone else Initiated, and finding oneself Weary from Unexpected Trials, Persecution and External Failure - it still Continues-on to the End. When Christ Died on the Cross it seemed an External Failure. Faith alone tells us it was the Greatest Internal Success of all Human History. Both of these Types of Courage are necessary for Salvation and certainly for Sanctification.


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Third Gift of Power - Fear of the Lord

Fear of the Lord, the Third (3rd) Gift of the Spirit as Power, Strengthens the Virtue of Hope. It impels us to a Profound Respect for the Majesty of God. Its Correlative Effects are to Protect us from Sin through Dread of Offending the Lord and by giving us Strong Confidence in the Power of God's Help. In Filial Fear, which is Selfless, we Dread to Offend God, Whom we Love. This is a sense in which the Highest Love of God is compatible with the Fear of the Lord. Christ Promised not only His Disciples, but us, that we would Receive "Power when the Holy Spirit comes on you". This Power is not only for ourselves but for others that we, being Strengthened, might Witness to Him Who Strengthens us. When Christ said, "You will be My Witnesses", Saint Luke, writing in Greek, used another word - "You will be My Martyrs". We are Bidden to Witness as Martyrs. How? By the Way we Live, which is the Most Eloquent Witness we can Offer.



There should be some sort of Outreaching by all of us, that others will Glorify God and come to know Christ not only by seeing us as Persons, but by whatever Means or Instrumentalities are at our disposal. We are to Witness by who we are, by what we say, and also by our Suffering. This is where the Word Martyr is so Critical. We are Expected to Suffer for our Faith if we wish to Witness-to Christ. The Graces are there. By Prior Definition, such a Gift Benefits the one to whom It is given only if he Appropriates and Uses It. The Problem with most of us is not that we don't have enough Graces or Gifts - though God knows we always need more - the Real Problem is to put-to-use the Graces we have already-been-given. What good are all the Treasures of Heaven which Christ has Conferred on us - His most Beloved Children and People of God - unless we use them? Here lies the difference between those who are Good Christians, but remain until Death in Mediocrity, and those who Strive-for, and Reach, Sanctity. It is up to us! And, strange as it may seem, when God sees we Appreciate the Grace we have by using It, He gives us more. This is the Secret of Holiness - using the Gifts that God gives in order that, having Received, we may Glorify the Giver.