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Chapter 9. Receive the Holy Spirit • 103

The Acts of the Apostles shows how the Holy Spirit transformed the

Apostles from being fearful disciples, huddling behind closed doors, into

courageous witnesses for Christ.

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one

place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise

like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which

they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,

which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they

were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in differ-

ent tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2:1-4)

Beginning with the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost, the disciples became

dynamic missionaries. He filled those disciples with the gift of courage

so that nothing stopped them from proclaiming the love of Christ for

all people.

When we learn how to be open to the Holy Spirit, he shares with us

the gift of understanding that contains the power to know Jesus and to

give witness to him. At our Baptism, the Spirit works through the waters

which take away Original Sin and actual sins and give us new life with

the Triune God. At Confirmation, the Holy Spirit is conferred by the

anointing with the Chrism, by which the bishop seals us so that the Holy

Spirit can strengthen us to pursue the mission of Christ to transform the

world. At every Mass, the Holy Spirit changes the bread and wine into

the Body and Blood of Christ by the ministry of the priest.

The Holy Spirit is dynamic, transforming our bodies into temples of

God and our souls into dwelling places for Christ. Sometimes called the


, a term that describes him as advocate and consoler, the Holy

Spirit wants to fill us with inspiration and encouragement.

We may not have to do great things, but we are called to do every-

day duties with great love. The Holy Spirit is essentially Love. Love can

change those we meet and change ourselves in each encounter. Because

of the Holy Spirit our whole being, mind, heart, soul, and body can be

permeated with Love.

“God is Love” and love is his first gift, containing all others.

“God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy