Beginning this week, we begin the proximate preparations for the coming of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost. It is said that, in many ways, the Holy Spirit is the forgotten Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. Perhaps this is because, in many ways, He is the most intangible. We can envision the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, in his Sacred Humanity, due to the Incarnation. We can even envision God the Father, the First Person of the Most Blessed Trinity (or at least an anthropomorphized view of Him)! However, that Third Person of the Trinity, well, that’s the hard one to really grasp!
Make no mistake, though — the Holy Spirit is God. He is the Lord, the giver of life, as we profess each Sunday and solemnity in the Nicene Creed. But how do we experience the Holy Spirit? The sure and certain guide that is the Catechism of the Catholic Church can serve as a guide for us.

In the Catechism (#688), we read the following:
The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:
•  in the Scriptures he inspired;
•  in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
•  in the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists;
•  in the sacramental Liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;
•  in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;
•  in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;
•  in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
•  in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation.

That’s a lot of places where we find this Holy Spirit for whom we are preparing to welcome liturgically in just under two weeks on Pentecost Sunday on June 5. He’s with us all the time, if only we have the eyes to perceive Him. Let’s examine just a few of the ways listed above by the Catechism, so we can know where to find the Spirit!

First, we can find the Holy Spirit in the Deposit of Divine Revelation, meaning we can see the hand of the Holy Spirit guiding the Bible and the Sacred Tradition of the Church. Do we recognize that the Sacred Scripture’s true author is ultimately God? Yes, God works through the divinely inspired authors, who correctly conceived, accurately expressed, and truthfully composed the Bible in its Canon, but never forget that God is the author of the Bible. In our preparation for Pentecost, perhaps we might wish to read with open hearts and minds the book that we have been reading throughout the entire Easter Season — the Acts of the Apostles. In many ways, this book is the sequel to the Gospel of Luke and they share the same author. Read Acts and look for the stories of where that Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity is the protagonist.

Second, we can find the Holy Spirit in the Sacred Liturgy. When you attend Holy Mass, look for the number of times that the Holy Spirit is invoked, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer. The Epiclesis is an essential part of the Mass and, in the consecration, the Holy Spirit is actively involved.

Third, we can find the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saints. Try to learn about some of the saints, blesseds, venerables and the servants of God and look to where the Holy Spirit was clearly guiding them throughout their lives. Some figures whom you might want to examine include the soon-to-be canonized Blessed John Henry Newman, Venerable Mother Catherine McAuley, the Foundress of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, and the Servant of God, Romano Guardini, the great 20th century spiritual writer.

The Holy Spirit is coming soon in Pentecost, but he is actively present, powerfully showering us with his seven-fold gifts. Use this remaining time in the Easter Season to prepare for the Holy Spirit!

Father Cush, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, will begin in June serving as a full-time Professor of Dogmatic Theology at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of New York.