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The Profession of Faith

179

C

hapter

T

hree

:

I B

elieve

in

the

H

oly

S

pirit

683

“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

1

“God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘

Abba!

Father!’”

2

This knowledge of faith is possible only in the Holy

Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched

by the Holy Spirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us.

By virtue of our Baptism, the first sacrament of the faith, the

Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately and

personally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to

us in the Son.

Baptism gives us the grace of new birth in God the Father,

through his Son, in the Holy Spirit. For those who bear God’s

Spirit are led to the Word, that is, to the Son, and the Son

presents them to the Father, and the Father confers incor-

ruptibility on them. And it is impossible to see God’s Son

without the Spirit, and no one can approach the Father

without the Son, for the knowledge of the Father is the Son,

and the knowledge of God’s Son is obtained through the

Holy Spirit.

3

684

Through his grace, the Holy Spirit is the first to awaken

faith in us and to communicate to us the new life, which is to “know

the Father and the one whom he has sent, Jesus Christ.”

4

But the

Spirit is the last of the persons of the Holy Trinity to be revealed.

St. Gregory of Nazianzus, the Theologian, explains this progres-

sion in terms of the pedagogy of divine “condescension”:

The Old Testament proclaimed the Father clearly, but the

Son more obscurely. The New Testament revealed the Son

and gave us a glimpse of the divinity of the Spirit. Now the

Spirit dwells among us and grants us a clearer vision of

himself. It was not prudent, when the divinity of the

Father had not yet been confessed, to proclaim the Son

openly and, when the divinity of the Son was not yet

admitted, to add the Holy Spirit as an extra burden, to

speak somewhat daringly. . . . By advancing and progress-

ing “from glory to glory,” the light of the Trinity will shine

in ever more brilliant rays.

5

1

1 Cor

12:3.

2

Gal

4:6.

3 St. Irenæus,

Dem. ap.

7: SCh 62, 41-42.

4

Jn

17:3.

5 St. Gregory of Nazianzus,

Oratio theol.,

5, 26 (=

Oratio

31, 26): PG 36,

161-163.

424, 2670

152

249

236