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Creed 31: We believe in the Holy Spirit

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Here starts the third section of the creed, which deals with the Holy Spirit. Whilst the first section spoke about God the almighty and the second about Jesus, the third section affirms our faith in the Holy Spirit. In a sense, the creed does not try to explain the mystery of these three persons. The doctrine of the Trinity simply states that there is only one God while, at the same time, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are God. The creed tries neither to explain nor to prove this doctrine, which is beyond our understanding. In fact, the only explanation has to be found in our lives: the Spirit can ‘inspire’ our lives. Indeed, the Greek word for spirit is the same word as for ‘breath’ or ‘wind’. In the Book of Genesis, the Spirit is the agent of creation, “a wind from God swept over the waters” (Gen1:2). Similarly, the creation account tells us that the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him (2:7). It is the Spirit which gives wisdom to man (Gen 41:38).

A glance at the liturgical calendar could help us to understand better the centrality of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The feast of Pentecost celebrates the day, 50 days after the resurrection, when the Church received the Spirit (Acts 2). In that respect, we are living in the time of the Spirit, who continues to inspire the Church, the men and women of our time. The Holy Spirit ‘dwells’ in us and guides us. This does not mean of course that there are three Gods, or chronologically that the Father sent the Son and the Son the Spirit. More profoundly, the Holy Spirit is given to us so that we may not be left ‘orphans’. The time of the Spirit in which we live means that God does not leave us alone. It even transcends our confessions. In the world, the Spirit, by his gifts, inspires people to good and to speak as prophets, “moved by the Holy Spirit” (2Pet 1:21). Therefore, it is the Spirit who helps us to work for peace and to work for the Kingdom of God, which is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).


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