Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church
Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church
The upcoming Spring Quarter at the Avila Institute will feature a course on the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church taught by Dr. Ben Nguyen. You can sign up for this course by applying for the School of Spiritual Formation.
For many, the Holy Spirit is the most difficult Person of the Trinity to understand. God as Father is revealed by one of our first and most important relationships with our earthly father. God the Son reveals to us the scandalous grace that is the Incarnation. Christ as the Son of the living God is relatively easy to relate to because He became man in order to relate to us. But where does the Holy Spirit fit in?
In the Creed, we profess that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son with whom He is adored and glorified. But how are we as Christians supposed to understand His relation to us?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists eight places in which the Church comes to know the Holy Spirit: Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium of the Church, the sacramental liturgy, prayer, the charisms and ministries of the Church, apostolic and missionary life, and the witness of the saints (CCC 688).
The role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church is investigated by the late Servant of God Archbishop Luis Martinez in his book, True Devotion to the Holy Spirit. Archbishop Martinez was a great Mexican mystic from the twentieth century. In his book, he writes about the relationship between the theological virtues and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in the soul. Of hope, he writes,
“Hope puts us in communion with the strength of the Most High and opens our soul to all the supernatural aids of which the Spirit is the living and inexhaustible source. Hope is the supernatural capacity for receiving the Holy Spirit, who aids and sanctifies, with all the divine streams that spring from this fountain.”
– Archbishop Luis Martinez, True Devotion to the Holy Spirit
Archbishop Martinez says that the Spirit is fire and light, but also the strength that invigorates the faithful in their earthly struggles. Martinez’ book sheds light on the mystery of the Holy Spirit and the way He works in souls and in the life of the Church. Understanding the Holy Spirit’s work in the soul of believers can help us to understand how He works in the Church as a whole as well.
This Spring the Avila Institute is offering a course on the Holy Spirit and the Life of the Church. In this course, you will be able to learn about the Holy Spirit from Dr. Ben Ngyuen as he takes you through Scripture, the Catechism, Dominum et Vivificantem by John Paul II, and True Devotion to the Holy Spirit by Archbishop Luis Martinez. Below are the dates of the course along with a description of the course.
Dates: March 8, 15, 22, 29, April 5, 19 (Wednesdays)
Time: 7:00-9:00 PM EST
Description: The Church was established by Christ to carry out His mission until the end of the age through the power of the Holy Spirit. This course will provide students with an overview of the action and presence of the Holy Spirit throughout Salvation History, highlighting God’s works of creation, redemption, and sanctification. The course will also focus on interiorizing these foundations truths of the faith through prayer and personal reflection.
Apply by Ash Wednesday, March 1st to ensure a spot in this course, which is only offered in Spring Session 1. We hope you can join us! Other courses offered this Spring include Contemplative Prayer and the Beloved Disciple, Growth in Holiness: Doctors of the Interior Life, Foundations of Prayer (Session 2 with Dan Burke), and Evangelization the Spiritual Life (Session 2). The School of Spiritual Formation involves one class per week in addition to a weekly journal. You can take as many or as few courses as you would like. To apply, visit our application page.
Art: Christ the King Catholic Church (Ann Arbor, Michigan) – interior Holy Spirit window, Nheyob, 5 August 2013, CCA-SA 3.0 Unported, Wikimedia Commons.
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