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182

Part One

The notion of anointing suggests . . . that there is no distance

between the Son and the Spirit. Indeed, just as between the

surface of the body and the anointing with oil neither reason

nor sensation recognizes any intermediary, so the contact of

the Son with the Spirit is immediate, so that anyone who

would make contact with the Son by faith must first encoun-

ter the oil by contact. In fact there is no part that is not covered

by the Holy Spirit. That is why the confession of the Son’s

Lordship is made in the Holy Spirit by those who receive

him, the Spirit coming from all sides to those who approach

the Son in faith.

15

II.

T

he

N

ame

, T

itles

,

and

S

ymbols

of

the

H

oly

S

pirit

The proper name of the Holy Spirit

691

“Holy Spirit” is the proper name of the one whom we

adore and glorify with the Father and the Son. The Church has

received this name from the Lord and professes it in the Baptism

of her new children.

16

The term “Spirit” translates the Hebrew word

ruah,

which,

in its primary sense, means breath, air, wind. Jesus indeed

uses the sensory image of the wind to suggest to Nicodemus

the transcendent newness of him who is personally God’s

breath, the divine Spirit.

17

On the other hand, “Spirit” and

“Holy” are divine attributes common to the three divine

persons. By joining the two terms, Scripture, liturgy, and

theological language designate the inexpressible person of

the Holy Spirit, without any possible equivocation with

other uses of the terms “spirit” and “holy.”

Titles of the Holy Spirit

692

When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy

Spirit, Jesus calls him the “Paraclete,” literally, “he who is called to

one’s side,”

ad-vocatus.

18

“Paraclete” is commonly translated by

“consoler,” and Jesus is the first consoler.

19

The Lord also called

the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of truth.”

20

15 St. Gregory of Nyssa,

De Spiritu Sancto,

16: PG 45, 1321A-B.

16 Cf.

Mt

28:19.

17

Jn

3:5-8.

18

Jn

14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7.

19 Cf.

1 Jn

2:1.

20

Jn

16:13.

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