THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
1. The final goal of the Church cannot be explained in simpler words than the words of Pope John Paul II himself. "The ultimate purpose of the Church's mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love." [Cf. John Paul II, RMiss.23] (C.C.C. # 850)
2. The mission of the Church, the Body of Christ, was founded by Jesus and is now being carried on by the Holy Spirit, the Church being His Temple. Today, the Holy Spirit is the primary representative of God to fulfill the mission of the Church. (C.C.C> # 852)
3. It is important to notice that whenever the Father sends His Son to fulfill His Divine Plan, He also sends His Holy Spirit. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are united and are incapable of being separated in the mission of the Church. (C.C.C. # 742)
4. By the united work of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the believers are drawn towards a daily personal relationship with the Heavenly Father in the Holy Spirit. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Christian is prepared and drawn to Jesus in the truth, bearing everlasting fruit as a disciple of Jesus. [Jn. 15:8, 16]
5. The Spirit of truth teaches the Christian, reminding him of the teachings of Jesus. [Jn. 14:17, 26] He reveals everything about Jesus so even the mind of a young child can understand the Death and Resurrection of the Lord. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus is made present in the Holy Eucharist. (C.C.C. # 727, 737)
THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN THE CHURCH
6. The Holy Spirit is the Temple of the Church. He is the soul of the Body of Christ of which Jesus is the Head. The Holy Spirit gives life to the Church so it becomes the living Temple of the living God. (C.C.C. # 797)
7. The Holy Spirit is involved in every step of the development and growth of the universal Church. He is the saving power that builds up the Church. He is faithfully found in the Word, in Baptism, in the sacraments, in the grace of God, in the gifts and in the virtues. Nothing happens in the Church without the direct involvement of the Holy Spirit. (C.C.C. # 798)
8. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ unites the Church as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the believer comes to the realization that these four characteristics are necessary. (C.C.C. # 811)
9. The Holy Spirit blesses those who search for the truth with the necessary faith to believe in the Church, that it "belongs to the Lord" and that the Christians are "called out from" the Church. He blesses them with the Divine knowledge that Christ founded one Church as His Body of which He is the Head. The Church does not discriminate against anyone, be it age, sex, culture, nationality, all its members being one in Christ.
10. The searching soul is blessed with the necessary understanding that the Church is holy, composed of God's holy children that are called to eternal life through persistent faith in Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice and Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The believer knows that the Church is universal, having no boundaries. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the Church reaches to all because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The Christians also know that the Church is 'apostolic', descending directly from the authority which Jesus gave to Peter when He gave him the keys of the Church.
11. The Holy Spirit directs and supports all the affairs of the Church. He is responsible for inspiring the organization of the clergy according to their rank and authority. He blesses each member of the Church with the necessary charismatic gifts to fulfill his function as he has been called by the grace of God to proclaim and establish the Church, the Kingdom of Christ and of God. (C.C.C. # 768)
12. Through all these functions, the Holy Spirit sanctifies the Church for the glory of Christ so it may be pleasing to the Heavenly Father. (C.C.C. # 747)
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LITURGY
13. In the liturgy of the Church, the Holy Spirit recalls the mystery of Christ and His liturgical work of salvation. This is achieved with the cooperation of the Church. First of all in the Most Holy Eucharist, the liturgy reminds the Christians of the message of salvation. (C.C.C. # 1099)
14. Through the liturgy, the Sacraments of the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit teaches faith to the children of God. (C.C.C. # 1091)
15. The Holy Spirit blesses the Christians with faith in Christ, clarifying the mystery of Christ so He is alive in the life of each and every Christian, here and now. (C.C.C. # 1092)
16. The Holy Spirit prepares the reception of Christ through the Church's adoption of certain worshipping parts of the Old Covenant. Among others, this involves reading the Old Testament, praying the Psalms and recalling the fulfillment of the prophecies regarding the coming of Jesus. (C.C.C. # 1093)
17. The Holy Spirit brings life within the Christians during Advent, Lent and especially the Easter Vigil, providing the Christians with the means to experience today the great events of salvation during the liturgy of the Church. (C.C.C. # 1095)
18. Christians can easily associate with the life of God when they feel their spirits being uplifted in love and charity during the Christmas Season or when they are overwhelmed with the loving sacrifice of Jesus on the Holy Cross on Good Friday. Moved by the Holy Spirit, during these very special moments, the hearts of the Christians turn to Jesus and the Heavenly Father in endless thanksgiving.
19. In communion with the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ, the liturgy of the New Covenant is celebrated over and over in the Most Holy Eucharist and in the Sacraments. (C.C.C. # 1097, 1104)
20. During the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist, the priest petitions the Heavenly Father to send the Sanctifier, the Holy Spirit, so the offering of the bread and wine may become the true Body and Blood of Christ. By receiving this sacrifice, the Christians themselves become living offerings to God. (C.C.C. # 1105)
21. The Holy Spirit prepares the Christians so they can meet the Lord while being properly disposed. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, faith is awakened, hearts are converted, and the Christians submit themselves to the Heavenly Father. Through this inclination, the Christians are made receptive to other graces resulting from participating in the celebration. The Christians are also receptive to the fruits of the new life that follows from participating in the celebration. (C.C.C. # 1098)
22. The Holy Spirit gives life to the Word of God so when it is proclaimed, it will be received and lived. (C.C.C. # 1100)
23. When the Christians are properly disposed, the Holy Spirit reveals the spiritual meaning of the Word of God so it is known and understood according to the truth. Then, the Christians and the ministers can enjoy a true relationship with Christ in the love of the Father. (C.C.C. # 1101)
24. By faith, which comes from the saving Word of God, the Christians are nourished in their hearts. This brings the Christians together for the growth of faith through the Holy Spirit. (C.C.C. # 1102)
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE MINISTRIES
25. To become a Pastor of the Word of God, it is a very great responsibility. It demands full accountability to God for each and every soul under the care of the Pastor. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can the Pastor fulfill this obligation, ensuring that the Will of God is obeyed in all things.
26. To assist the Pastors of God in their spiritual work, the Holy Spirit blesses them with different gifts. These gifts vary according to the needs of the Church for its growth and the sincerity of the hearts. Through the Holy Spirit, for reasons that are not always visible, the Heavenly Father blesses some Pastors with more gifts than others.
27. While blessings are meant to build the faith, the withdrawal of blessings can represent that God is not pleased with the people who are living in sin. In such an instance, the Pastor can only beg the Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to give the people the necessary faith and grace in their hearts to help them turn away from the sinful natures.
28. The Holy Spirit is a gift of God! The Christians who obey God, living by the Spirit, are blessed by the power of the Holy Spirit and bear much fruit. They reflect Divine love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. [Gal. 5:22-3] (C.C.C. # 736) The fruit of the Holy Spirit leads to the perfection of the souls, purifying them as the first fruits of eternal glory. (C.C.C. # 1832)
29. Seven gifts are given to the Christian by the Holy Spirit. These are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Through these gifts, the Christian can be perfected in holiness in the fullness of Christ. These gifts make the Christian receptive to obeying Divine inspirations. (C.C.C. # 1831, 1845)
30. The Holy Spirit gives out God's gifts because He is God. He is one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. (C.C.C> # 605) Preparing the way for the second coming of the Messiah (C.C.C. # 702), the Holy Spirit reveals Himself, gives, is recognized and welcomed as a person. In all things of the Church, the Holy Spirit works with the Father and the Son, from the beginning to the end to ensure the salvation of sinners. (C.C.C. # 686)
31. When the new Christian is baptised by a Pastor of God, a wonderful thing happens. The Christian receives the sanctifying grace of justification from God. This permits him to believe in God, hope in Him, and love Him in ways that are pleasing to the Lord. This gives the Christian the power to live and act as the Holy Spirit inspires him to do so through His gifts. This permits the Christian to grow in Divine goodness through moral virtues. In the Sacrament of Baptism, the Christian finds the root of his entire spiritual life. (C.C.C. # 1266)
32. The anointing of the sick is a gift of the Holy Spirit which is ministered by the Church. When Christians are experiencing serious illness or the weaknesses that come with old age, they receive the necessary strength, peace and courage to overcome such difficulties. During this anointing, the sins are forgiven. (C.C.C. # 1520)
33. In the sacrament of Holy Orders, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christian who is ordained is made alike to Christ. (C.C.C. # 1585) Before being ordained in the greatness of the office of the priesthood, the person must be converted to Christianity to ensure that he can dedicate his life to Jesus whose sacrament makes him a Pastor of the Church. (C.C.C. # 1589)
34. Through the Holy Spirit, the Bishop receives the necessary grace to guide and defend the Church, obtaining the strength and prudence of a father and pastor. (C.C.C. # 1586)
35. Deacons are strengthened by sacramental grace so they can dedicate themselves to God's people in unity with the Bishop and other priests. Together, they present the service of the liturgy, the Gospel and do works of charity. (C.C.C. # 1588)
36. The Church unites sinners who have received salvation through Christ, they making efforts to become holy as Jesus is Holy. This includes its Pastors who also acknowledge that they are sinners and in need of the Holy Spirit's grace. (C.C.C. # 827)
37. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the stain of sin is removed. This Divine power and authority of Jesus, to forgive sins or to retain them, was given to the Apostles when the Lord outpoured the Holy Spirit upon them. [Jn. 20:22-3] (C.C.C. # 976)
38. Equipped with all these gifts, the Pastors go forward as men of God to preach Jesus for the salvation of all. The Lord is upon them, being manifested through the Holy Spirit. (C.C.C. # 714)
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN CONFIRMATION
39. Confirmation is one of the seven Sacraments of the Church. The seven Sacraments are: Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. These Sacraments represent the person's spiritual birth and growth, healing and commitment to adopt the Christian way of life in faith. (C.C.C. # 1113, 1210)
40. The anointing that takes place at Baptism is a post baptismal anointing. This means that a second anointing will follow. The second anointing is performed by the Bishop at Confirmation, being completed with sacred chrism (consecrated oil and balsam). Confirmation 'confirms' and completes the baptismal anointing. (C.C.C. # 1242)
41. Confirmation strengthens the grace which the Christian received at Baptism. It gives the confirmed Christian his formal approval and acceptance in the Church. The Sacrament of Confirmation completes the Christian initiation, Baptism and Confirmation both being fruits of the Holy Spirit. (C.C.C. # 1289)
42. Confirmation is only performed once. During this initiation, the confirmed Christian has his soul marked with the spiritual character of Jesus as a permanent seal of the Holy Spirit. The confirmed is clothed with Divine power so he may shine as Jesus' witness in the lives of those he touches. (C.C.C. # 1304, 1317)
43. The seal is a symbol of personal authority that one belongs to someone else. (C.C.C. # 1295) Resulting from Confirmation, the confirmed now belongs to Jesus, receiving His ongoing blessings and His protection. [Rev. 7:2-3, 9:4; Ezek. 9:4-6] Jesus said that He Himself was marked with the seal of the Heavenly Father. [Jn. 6:27] It is the Heavenly Father Who calls the confirmed in Christ, putting His seal on them through the Holy Spirit. [2 Cor. 1:21-2; Eph. 1:13, 4:40] (C.C.C. # 1296)
44. The Sacrament of Confirmation increases the grace received at Baptism. It confirms that the Christian is now a ready son of God. He is given the necessary power to make known the Christian faith by his words and actions. His gifts of the Holy Spirit are increased. He is united with Christ in a more personal way. He now has a stronger bond with the Church. He is more closely associated with the mission of the Church. (C.C.C. # 1303, 1316)
45. When the Christian is confirmed, he receives the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is the same gift that the Apostles received on the day of Pentecost. (C.C.C. # 1302)
46. Now becoming a member of the common priesthood of the faithful, the confirmed person receives the authority and power to publicly declare his faith in Jesus Christ as if he was doing so officially. (C.C.C. # 1305)
47. There are three Sacraments of Christian initiation. These are Baptism, the Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. Their unity must be protected. Once the Christian has been fully initiated as a true witness of Jesus, he is more obliged by conscience to spread and defend the faith by his words and deeds. (C.C.C. # 1285)
48. Until such time as the baptized Christian is prepared to receive the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism, his Christian initiation is incomplete. As such, he is obligated to receive them. Failure to do so does not make his Baptism invalid or incapable of producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (C.C.C. # 1306)
49. In a situation when a Christian is in danger of death, he can be confirmed by any priest. It is the desire of the Church that all of its children be perfected by the gift of the Holy Spirit with the fullness of Christ prior to leaving this world. (C.C.C. # 1314)
50. When a Christian is preparing himself for Confirmation, he should seek the spiritual help of a sponsor. It would be appropriate for the baptismal godparents to fulfill this role. (C.C.C. # 1311)
51. The sponsor should help the person to be confirmed by explaining that Confirmation is intended to bring him towards a more personal union with Jesus. He should become more aware of the actions, gifts and calls of the Holy Spirit so he can accept his calling to the Christian life. (C.C.C. # 1309)
52. The sponsor should inform the Christian that to be confirmed, he must be in a state of grace during Confirmation. To ensure his state of grace, he should receive the Sacrament of Penance. This will permit the Holy Spirit to cleanse him. During this preparation, the Christian to be confirmed must also dedicate more time to prayer, preparing himself to receive the necessary grace and strength of the Holy Spirit so he will be teachable and prepared to answer his Divine inspirations. (C.C.C. # 1310)
53. Once the Christian is reborn by Baptism, given strength through the Sacrament of Confirmation and has received the Eucharist which is the food of eternal life, he increases his Heavenly treasures in the Divine life, growing in sanctification towards perfect charity. (C.C.C. # 1212)
54. The anointing with oil during Confirmation has a special meaning. Over and above marking the confirmed with a seal, it represents abundance and joy. It cleans the confirmed, making him ready to act. It heals as oil soothes bruises and wounds. It makes the Christian shine with beauty, health and strength. (C.C.C. # 1293)
55. To be anointed with oil has all these meanings in the spiritual life. The confirmed can now share the mission of Jesus. He can now obtain the fullness of the Holy Spirit. As such, his life can give off the "aroma of Jesus" in all what he does. (C.C.C. # 1294)
56. The ceremony of the sacrament of Confirmation involves the confirmed being anointed with chrism on his forehead by the laying of the hand. At the same time, the following words are said: "Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit." (C.C.C. # 1300, 1320)
57. The Bishop repeats the same thing that was done since the time of the Apostles, his action representing the gift of the Holy Spirit. He stretches his hand over those who are being confirmed and invokes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in these words:
"All powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by water and the Holy Spirit
you freed your sons and daughters from sin
and gave them life.
Send your Holy Spirit upon them
to be their helper and guide.
Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of right judgment and courage,
the spirit of knowledge and reverence.
Fill them with the Spirit of wonder and awe in your presence.
We ask this through Christ our Lord." (C.C.C. # 1299)
59. When the Christian is baptized at birth, he begins by renewing his baptismal promises at Confirmation and the declaration of his faith. If an adult is being baptized, he is immediately confirmed and participates in the Eucharist. (C.C.C. # 1298, 1321)
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN CHARISMS
60. Charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit. No matter how simple or extraordinary they are, they serve the purpose of directly or indirectly building up the Church. They are for the benefit of all. (C.C.C. # 799)
61. Each faithful Christian receives a gift of the Holy Spirit for the common good of the Church. (C.C.C. # 951) [1 Cor. 12:7]
62. Charisms are called special graces because they are free gifts of God. Whatever gift they are, be it to heal, perform miracles or speak in tongues, they are sanctifying graces to build up the Church. (C.C.C. # 2003)
63. All charisms should be tested. They are to be referred to the Pastors of the Church to discern their source. The responsibility of the Pastors of the Church is to test the Spirit to ensure its fruit is good. [1 Thess. 5:12] All charisms of the Holy Spirit work together for the good of the Church. (C.C.C. # 801)
64. The role of the Holy Spirit is visibly seen in the Church. He inspires those who read the Scriptures. He puts the believers in communion with Jesus through the sacramental liturgy. He intercedes during prayer. He builds up the Church in its charisms and ministries. He gives the signs for apostolic and missionary life. He displays His holiness and the work of salvation in the testimony of the saints. (C.C.C. # 688)
65. Charisms, if and when they are gifts of the Holy Spirit, are rich graces. They are to bring life in the Church. They are for the sanctification of the entire Body of Christ. Those who are blessed with such gifts must be grateful along with all the other members of the Church. When genuine, these gifts are manifested with the prompting of the Holy Spirit in the full spirit of charity. (C.C.C. # 800)
66. To ensure that the Christians do not deviate from the true faith, Christ blessed the Magisterium of the Church with the charism of infallibility on matters of faith and morals. This ensures that the Pastors of the Church do not teach errors. (C.C.C. # 890) This infallibility results from the inspirations of the Holy Spirit Who speaks in the heart of the Pastors of the Church.
67. This infallibility of the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit extends to the proclaiming of doctrines, including resolving issues of morals. Otherwise, the saving truths of the faith could not be protected, explained or obeyed. (C.C.C. # 2035)
68. The charism of healing is another manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Healings can be physical, psychological or spiritual. If according to God's will, it can be conquered, this because Christ died on the cross to take away the "sin of the world." (C.C.C. # 1508)
This ends the course "The Holy Spirit and the Sacraments". For further details about the content of this course, you may wish to review the Catechism of the Catholic Church wherever numbers are presented in round ( ) brackets at the end of each paragraph.
We pray that you enjoyed this course and that it served its purpose of blessing you with spiritual growth. We look towards your registration of other Bible Courses so you may continue to grow in the Holy Spirit. May the love of Jesus always be deep rooted in your heart so you will always be a shining light in the world.
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