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A relationship with the Holy Spirit is as simple as this one word


If he's the Great Unknown in your life, try some of these ideas to get on friendlier terms.

The action of the Holy Spirit can pass unnoticed, and it can be harder to form a relationship with this Person of the Trinity than with the other two.

In fact in 2008, writing to youth, Benedict XVI observed that there are many Christians for whom the Holy Spirit remains the “great unknown.”

The German pope suggested that we could remedy this by recognizing the “true identity of the Spirit by listening to God’s word in the revelation of the Bible.”

And we can “learn about his continuous and active presence in the life of the Church, in particular rediscovering that the Holy Spirit is the ‘soul,’ the life-giving breath of the Christian life, thanks to the Christian sacraments of initiation — baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist.”

St. Josemaria Escriva has a homily devoted to the Spirit titled, precisely, The Great Unknown.

He notes that while we might not notice God acting, faith reminds us that indeed he is.

“He has created us and maintains us in existence, and he leads all creation by his grace toward the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

Therefore, St. Josemaria reflects, the attitude we need toward the Spirit can be summarized in just one word: docility.

Christian tradition has summarized the attitude that we should adopt toward the Holy Spirit in just one idea: docility.

For St. Josemaria, docility means becoming aware of the Spirit’s work, and in particular, he puts on the alert for his gifts, his inspirations, and the affections and decisions he provokes.

This means that we should be aware of the work of the Holy Spirit all around us and that in our own selves we should recognize the gifts he distributes, the movements and institutions he inspires, the affections and decisions he provokes in our hearts.

The Holy Spirit carries out in the world the works of God. He is, as we read in a liturgical hymn, the giver of grace, the light of our hearts, the soul’s guest, our rest in work, our consolation in sorrow.

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