Archive for the ‘Holy Spirit’ Category

Magisterium of Rome vs. Magisterium of One

May 31, 2012

Taylor Marshall, of the Roman communion, has a post up in which he tells us that the “the proper name of the Holy Ghost is “Gift.” He is the personified donation of the Father and the Son.”

Someone in the comment box, using the nick “Kepha,” pointed out that the Catechism of the Catholic Church actually has a section on this. I reproduce the section below:


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

693 Besides the proper name of “Holy Spirit,” which is most frequently used in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles, we also find in St. Paul the titles: the Spirit of the promise,21 the Spirit of adoption,22 the Spirit of Christ,23 the Spirit of the Lord,24 and the Spirit of God25 – and, in St. Peter, the Spirit of glory.26

Cute, eh? “Gift” doesn’t even make the list of titles. Moreover, as another of the commenters noted, “personified donation” does sound rather modalistic.

Taylor quotes Aquinas and Augustine. Whether he understands them is a point I won’t explore. Nevertheless, whether or not they agree with the point he’s trying to make, shouldn’t the CCC trump anything that the fathers or schoolmen have to save about the subject?


H.T. to Steve Hays


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