Fr. Brian Cavanaugh TOR reflects on the role of the Holy Spirit in our journey through life.
Have you ever asked yourself, ‘What is the role of the Holy Spirit? What is the Holy Spirit’s function in my life? And, how do I respond to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration?’ These were questions I reflected upon for some time. The symbol of the Holy Spirit as a dove just left me searching for an image I could grasp; something I could relate to and comprehend. Yes, I could recite the Church’s teachings on the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Trinity, but something was not connecting in my understanding. Talking with others it seemed that the role and function of the Holy Spirit is often not comprehended, especially as to how the Holy Spirit affects my life and how I am to respond. Saint John Paul II, in preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Third Millennium, wrote the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveni ente (November 10, 1994). He asked that the three years prior to the millennium be devoted, one year each, to reflections on each person of the Trinity. These papal exhortations stirred something within me, and my reflections began to coalesce into an image of the Holy Spirit that I could grasp. In this article, I will share you how I journeyed to this personal understanding. A word of note: following are my own personal reflections on the function and role of the Holy Spirit. They are not intended to be theological statements; any errors in thought or conclusion are my own.