The Eighth Article of the Apostles’ Creed
January 31, 2015
” I Believe in the Holy Spirit “
The Eighth Article
In order to properly catechize, certain definitions of words should be expressed. The reason for this, is because many just don’t know what certain words actually mean. Sometimes we may have an idea of what a certain word, or idea is trying to express. However, I have found that it is better to just spell out, definitively what certain words are trying to communicate. I was, and still can be one of those people, who think they know what certain words and phrases mean. I was amazed, when I started to actually look up certain words in my Modern Catholic Dictionary by our founder Servant of God Father John Hardon. I had no idea how wrong I was when it came to certain definitions of words.
The particular word I am thinking of in the Eighth Article of the Apostle’s Creed is ” believe “. What does the word “ believe ” really mean? Well, let’s take a look what Servant of God Father Hardon has in the dictionary he wrote. Quickly, can you believe he actually wrote a dictionary? Here is what is written in his dictionary, ” Belief is the acceptance of something as true on a trustworthy person’s word. It differs from faith only in the stress on confidence in the one who is believed. Moreover, belief emphasizes the act of the will, which disposes one to believe, where faith is rather an act of the mind, which assents to what is believed.” Now, lets be honest, how many of us knew what the word ” believe ” actually meant ? Belief is an act of the will, faith is an act of the intellect. I choose to believe. I make that choice, with God’s grace of course.
Ok, onto the Eighth Article of the Apostle’s Creed. This article teaches us that Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to sanctify the human race. The Holy Spirit, also known as the Holy Ghost, is the third person of the Blessed Trinity. The Holy Spirit is equal to Jesus, and God the Father. Three Divine persons, One God. The one and only God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. However, God the Father is not God the Son or God the Holy Spirit. I know this can get quite confusing, so I will direct you to Frank Sheed’s excellent book called ” Theology and Sanity “. This particular book, more than any other, helped me to understand the mystery of the Trinity to some degree. This book by Frank Sheed helped my belief in the Holy Trinity to make sense.
Their is one bit of information about the Holy spirit that I would like to communicate with you before we move on. When we we speak of Him, the Holy Spirit, we speak of His ” procession “. We speak of the Holy Spirit as ” proceeding ” from the Father and the Son. Remember that word “ proceeds “. We speak of the Son, as being “ generated ” from the Father. All three Persons of the Holy Trinity are eternal, and outside of time, equal to one another.
The role of the Holy Spirit is to sanctify us, hence the word ” Holy “. The Holy spirit is the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. Like the human soul animates the body, the same can be said of the Holy Ghost, who gives life to the Church.
Let us look to St Luke for the many references to the Holy Spirit in Sacred Scripture. In fact, I have heard the Book of Acts referred to as the Gospel of the Holy Spirit. We will look at that in our next post.
May Almighty God protect us from the world, the devil and ourselves,