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Chapter 9. Receive the Holy Spirit • 109

• The life of the Blessed Virgin Mary shows us the power of the Holy

Spirit. She was made by the Holy Spirit into a witness of grace from

the moment of her conception. It is also by the power of the Holy

Spirit that Mary conceived Jesus, the Son of God.

• By the anointing of the Holy Spirit at his Incarnation, the Son of

God was consecrated as Christ (



• At Pentecost, Peter said of Jesus that “God has made him both Lord

and Messiah” (Acts 2:36). From this fullness of his glory, Jesus

poured out the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the Church.

• The Holy Spirit builds up, animates, and sanctifies the Church. He

prepares us to go out and bring others to Christ. He opens our minds

to understand Christ’s death and Resurrection. He makes present for

us the mystery of Christ, especially in the Eucharist, and brings us

to communion with God that we may bear much fruit (cf. CCC, no.



In the life of faith there are always two movements: God in search of us

and we in search of God. The poet Francis Thompson described God’s

attempts to reach us in terms of his being the “Hound of Heaven.”

Thompson said he felt God coming after him and yearning to give him

love. But the poet was not ready:

I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways

of my own mind. . . . I hid from him.

At the same time, God has stamped in our souls a longing for him-

self. We are born with a longing for the divine that cannot be satisfied

by anyone or anything short of God. We are created to be seekers for the

absolute love, which is God. Thompson not only experienced God as the

hound pursuing him; he also felt his own hunger and thirst for God. One

day he stopped running, turned, and rushed toward God:

Naked, I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!

My harness, piece by piece, Thou hast hewn from me, . . .

I am defenseless, utterly.