Bishop Brian J. Kennedy, O.S.B.


The Divine Office of the Holy Spirit is to reveal and witness to the Christ and through the Christ make possible for men to enter into the life of the Trinity.




All Graces come to man through the action of the Holy Spirit.





God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, (Acts 10:38)



All Graces come from God in a wondrous three-fold manner from the Father, through the Son by the action of the Holy Spirit. The Father is glorified in the Son and the Son is glorified in the action of the Holy Spirit.  By the action of the Holy Spirit we have a sharing in the divinity of the Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.  To be a Christian means to have a sharing in the anointing of the Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who lives out in the Church the redemption of Christ and it is the Holy Spirit who mediates the fruit of our redemption to a sinful world. 


Christ is the sole arbiter and dispenser of all the graces that come from our Heavenly Father.  Christ determines who receives what graces from God and these Graces are administered through the action of the Holy Spirit.  The Christ and the Holy Spirit work together so closely that all graces received from and through Christ He gives to a sinful world through the work and action of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit given on the Feast of Pentecost who makes possible our integration into the life of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the witness to the Christ and testifies to the work and doctrine of Christ.


The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete.  The word Paraclete means advocate, intercessor and teacher.  The word can also mean comforter.  As none can go to the Father other than through Christ, so none can approach Christ with faith unless the Holy Spirit draws the person to Christ. 


The Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, convinces us of the truth of the Gospel.  The Holy Spirit mediates the merits of Christ to man by preparing the heart and the mind of man to receive the Gospel message in faith. The Holy Spirit excites the soul of man to repent and seek the Savior of our souls with willing obedience. The Holy Spirit teaches us what Christ wants us to know and believe.  It is the working of the Holy Spirit that predisposes man to recognize the ‘ring of truth’ in the Gospels and in the preaching of the men of God.


The Spirit imparts Sanctifying Grace, a new life, to those who will respond to the conditions of salvation (Titus 3:5). The “renewing” (the new life) is of the Holy Spirit. The word “regeneration” in Titus 3:5 is the same as the phrase “born from above” in John 3:3 (in the Greek text). When a person bows his natural will to the will of God and repents of his or her sins, the Holy Spirit makes him a new creation in Christ.


In Baptism the Holy Spirit brings a new life to the soul and through the power of the Holy Spirit exercised through the ordained Priest, we become a new creation in Christ, a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, a child of the Father by adoption and brother to Jesus the Christ.  The aorist Greek tense in 1 Corinthians 12:13 indicates that this baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is an experience that is not repeated.


In the Sacred Mystery (Sacrament) of Chrismation the Holy Spirit actually comes into the heart of the newborn child of God to abide there (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Christian is really indwelt by the Father (Ephesians 4:6), by the Son (Galatians 2:20), and by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). The early Church and the Orthodox Church today never separates Baptism from Chrismation and the Sacrament of Baptism is never complete without Chrismation and also reception of the Eucharist. 


Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would teach the disciples “all truth” (John 16:12-13). The Holy Spirit teaches us knowledge of the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:12). Normally, the teaching is done through the Church, the Priest or other believers who have the gift of teaching (Ephesians 4:11-12). Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”


Resisting the Spirit is to willfully reject the Word of God, the truth of God, when it is clearly presented. It speaks of one who is brought face to face with truth but refuses to act on it.


It is possible to “insult” the Spirit (Hebrews 10:29). Insulting the Spirit is to refuse to accept and act on one or more of God’s known truths, seeing in these truths only a natural cause or a deception of the devil.  The Church calls this material heresy. The person cannot claim ignorance because they have been taught; they just refuse to accept it.  If we respond to the faith and praxis of the Apostles and the early church with a statement, “That was fine for them but we don’t do that anymore” we insult the Holy Spirit. Some men act as if the Holy Spirit has been in error for the last 2000+ years but now has chosen to reveal the truth to them. When we look back at the history of the undivided church catholic we see evidence from the very beginning, even in the life-time of the Sainted Apostles, men who knew better (or thought they did) than the Holy Spirit and rejected the inspired teaching and praxis of the Apostles. 


It is possible to “blaspheme” the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29-30). Blaspheming the Spirit is to deliberately and willfully, against better knowledge, give credence to the devil when he, through false apparitions and visions and false teachers, tries to deceive even the elect if that were possible. We also blaspheme against the Holy Spirit when we refuse to accept the saving work of the Christ on the Cross or refuse to accept and act upon the Word of God.


One can “grieve” the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Grieving the Holy Spirit is to make the Holy Spirit sad or sorrowful by our failure to see ourselves as a people called apart to be a people uniquely His own.  When we become worldly minded we surrender to the world, the flesh and the devil.  


We “lie to” the Spirit (Acts 5:3-4) when we appear pious and consecrated on the outside, when all the while the heart is dishonest and selfish. It is characterized by putting on a “smooth front” pontificating around but with no real spiritual substance. More often this is a sin of the Priest or Bishops.


One can “quench” the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Quenching the Spirit is to disobey His voice.  If we reject what we know is true long enough, eventually God will withdraw “prevenient” grace that leads us to follow God’s Law.  If we refuse, long enough to abide the truth given through a Priest or the church we can eventually learn that God has no longer given us the grace to follow Him.  Sometimes it is easier to do nothing than to act on what we learn but this leads to the Holy Spirit withdrawing from us. 


Without the Holy Spirit you can never hope to approach Christ. Without the Holy Spirit you will never actuate the fruits of Christ’s redemptive act in your life.  Christ is the Redeemer and the Holy Spirit is the Co-Redeemer of our salvation.




The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, usually numbered as seven from Isaiah 11:2-3, begins with the Gift of Wisdom.  Because the gift of Wisdom is the first and highest gift of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is called the SEAT OF WISDOM. 


1. Wisdom
Wisdom is the first and highest gift of the Holy Spirit, because it is the perfection of faith. Through wisdom, we come to value properly those things, which we believe through faith.


2. Understanding
Understanding is the second gift of the Holy Spirit. While wisdom is the desire to contemplate the things of God, understanding allows us grasp, at least in a limited way, the very essence of God's saving truths.


3. Counsel
Counsel, the third gift of the Holy Spirit. Through this gift of the Holy Spirit, we are able to judge how best to act almost by intuition.


4. Fortitude
Fortitude is both the fourth gift of the Holy Spirit and a cardinal virtue. Fortitude is ranked as the fourth gift of the Holy Spirit because it gives us the strength to follow through on the actions suggested by the gift of counsel.


5. Knowledge
The fifth gift of the Holy Spirit, knowledge, is often confused with both wisdom and understanding. Like wisdom, knowledge is the perfection of faith, but whereas wisdom gives us the desire to judge all things according to the truth of the Gospel message, knowledge is the actual ability to do so. Like counsel, it is aimed at our actions in this life. In a limited way, knowledge allows us to see the circumstances of our life the way that God sees them. Through this gift of the Holy Spirit, we can determine God's purpose for our lives and live them accordingly.


6. Piety
Piety, the sixth gift of the Holy Spirit. Piety is the willingness to worship and to serve God. Piety takes that willingness beyond a sense of duty, so that we desire to worship God and to serve Him out of love.

7. Fear of the Lord
The seventh and final gift of the Holy Spirit is the fear of the Lord.  This gift of the Holy Spirit gives us the desire not to offend God, as well as the certainty that God will supply us the grace that we need in order to keep from offending Him. Our desire not to offend God is more than simply a sense of duty; like piety, the fear of the Lord arises out of love.


Spirit of Truth-St Hilary
St. Hilary of Poitiers
Early Church Father & Doctor of the Church
teaches us

 Since our weak minds cannot comprehend the Father or the Son, we have been given the Holy Spirit as our intermediary and advocate, to shed light on that hard doctrine of our faith, the incarnation of God.”





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