The Holy Spirit: Binding force

We celebrate the Blessed Trinity today.  Most Christians are comfortable with their understanding of our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.  Understanding the person and functions of the Holy Spirit can be a bit more challenging.  In this General Audience talk, Pope John Paul II explained one of the roles of the Holy Spirit in the mystery of the Trinity.  To wit:

2. The Holy Spirit’s proper and specific action already within the Trinity is communion. “It can be said that in the Holy Spirit the intimate life of the Triune God becomes totally gift, an exchange of mutual love between the divine Persons, and that through the Holy Spirit God exists in the mode of gift. It is the Holy Spirit who is the personal expression of this self-giving, of this being-love” (Dominum et Vivificantem, n. 10). The third Person — we read in St Augustine — is “the supreme love that unites both the Persons” (De Trin., n. 7, 3, 6). Indeed the Father begets the Son by loving him; the Son is begotten by the Father, letting himself be loved and receiving from him the capacity to love; the Holy Spirit is love given in total gratuitousness by the Father, received with full gratitude by the Son, and returned by him to the Father. The Spirit is also the love and the personal gift which contains every created gift: life, grace and glory. The mystery of this communion shines forth in the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit himself makes us “one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28) and thus integrates us within the same unity which binds the Son to the Father. We are left in wonder at this intense and intimate communion between God and us!

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