The Spirit of Christ
Presence of God – O Holy Spirit, You who had complete dominion over the holy soul of Jesus, deign to direct my poor soul.
In Sacred Scripture, the Holy Spirit is called “the Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9), an expression that is pregnant with meaning. Christ is the Incarnate Word. Although He became Man, He remains the Word, the Son of God. From Him, as from the Father, the Holy Spirit proceeds; therefore, the Holy Spirit is properly termed the Spirit of Christ, because the Person of Christ is none other than that of the Word. When we speak of Christ, however, we do not speak of Him as God only, but also, and especially, as Man, that is, as the Incarnate Word. In this sense too, it can be said that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. We know, in fact, that the divine Paraclete, with the Father and the Son, dwells in every soul that is in the state of grace, and not only does He dwell there, but He delights to abide there. The higher the degree of grace He finds in a soul, the greater is His delight, for wherever grace is more abundant, there is a more intense and luminous reflection of God’s nature and goodness. This is why the Holy Spirit took such great complacency in the soul of the Blessed Virgin, who, although she was full of grace, continually grew from plenitude to plenitude. Yet the grace possessed by Mary was but a pale reflection of the grace which filled the soul of Jesus, grace which theologians call “infinite.”
If then, Jesus possessed grace in an infinite manner, it can be said that the Holy Spirit took complacency in the soul of Christ in an infinite manner and dwelt there as in His temple of predilection. This idea is expressed in the Encyclical Mystici Corporis when it says that the divine Paraclete “finds His delight in dwelling in the soul of the Redeemer as in His favorite temple.” And if we can say that the Holy Spirit is ours because He dwells in our souls sanctified by grace, with infinitely greater reason can we say that He is “Christ’s,” whose sacred soul possesses grace in an immeasurable degree.
“O Holy Spirit, only Your clemency and ineffable love could have held the Son of God nailed to the wood of the Cross, for neither nails nor cords would have been able to hold Him there without the bonds of love. And then, when Christ returned to His Father at His Ascension, You, O Holy Spirit, were sent into the world with the power of the Father, the wisdom of the Son, and Your own mercy, to strengthen the way of the doctrine which Christ left in the world…. O Holy Spirit, come into my heart; by Your power, draw it to You, true God; grant me charity with fear, guard me from every evil thought, warm me, inflame me with Your most sweet love, so that every pain will seem slight to me. O Holy Father and my sweet Lord, help me now in all my actions” (St. Catherine of Siena).
“O Jesus, I offer You my poor love, placing it in the arms of Your ardent Spirit, in the furnace enkindled by Your love. O my Beloved, by Your divine power prepare me for spiritual warfare with the weapons of Your Spirit, since I do not rely upon myself, but on Your goodness alone. By Your unfathomable charity, root out of me anything that is not wholly Yours, so that, by the grace of Your love, invited and restored by Your loving sweetness, I may love You alone. The sweet outpourings of Your Spirit make the burden of life seem brief and light. Deign to cooperate with my works, so that my soul may magnify You eternally. May my life be consecrated to You, and may my spirit rejoice in You, my Savior; then every thought and act will be praise and thanksgiving to You” (St. Gertrude).
O Holy Spirit, You who worked with such plenitude in the most holy soul of Jesus, deign to operate also in my poor soul and take it entirely under Your direction, so that every act, interior as well as exterior, may be according to Your inspirations, Your choice, Your good pleasure.
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Art: Christ the King Catholic Church (Ann Arbor, Michigan) – interior Holy Spirit window, Nheyob, 5 August 2013, CCA-SA 3.0 Unported, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.