We have seen in the previous page that Christ came to deify human nature. Now we shall see that He does this through the Spirit.
What do we mean by Spirit?
Although the book of Wisdom Speaks of the "spirit of the Lord" (Ws 1:7), they had no knowledge of the spirit as a person in God, but because the Spirit is also God, in their musing concerning God's wisdom they give a beautiful expression to God as spirit.
Wisdom, they say, is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, agile, clear, untainted, certain, all-powerful, all-seeing, mobile beyond motion, pervading and penetrating all things because of its purity. (Ws7:22-24). And as a reality in God --
is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness."
The Spirit is the very heart of God because it is the eternal Love God the Father has for his only Son by nature. The Spirit is intrinsically involved in the Incarnation beginning with the conception of Christ's humanity in the womb or the Virgin Mary. The consciousness of Christ as doing his Father's will and his constant reference of all things to the Father implies the presence of the Spirit which is his love for his Father. Jesus was filled by the Holy Spirit and by the power of the Spirit He healed the sick and cast out demons. He applied the reading from Isaiah to himself which read: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor...." (Lk 1:18) Finally, Christ is raised from the dead and established in glory by the power of the Spirit.
Christ by his atoning life, death and Resurrection released the power of the Spirit upon mankind as St. Paul states: "The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us." (Rm 5:5) The purpose of this love is that we might grow into the likeness of the New Adam who is Christ. As Christ called God his Father, so we are enabled by the Holy Spirit to call upon God as our Father by adoption as son and daughters of God. The Spirit in our hearts engenders a life of Faith in Christ as God's Son, Hope in his promised Kingdom and a Love for God and man that is sacrificial like that of Christ.
In the lives of the Saints we see the Spirit at work realizing the mystery of Christ in their hearts and actions. They are like gems which reflect the truths of Christ's life, each revealing essentially the same Christ but with different nuances as the Spirit of Christ and the inclination of their natures allows (e.g. St. Francis emphasized the poverty of Christ or dependence on God while St. Thomas Aquinas was imbued by the same Spirit with the gift of understanding or the ability to penetrate deeply in the mysteries of faith).
Let us pray
Come, Holy Spirit
of the poor!
comforters the best;
In our labor,
rest most sweet;
O most blessed
are not, man has naught,
wounds, our strength renew;
stubborn heart and will;
On the faithful
virtue's sure reward;
to hear Latin Chant
by monks of Sao Paulo Monastery, Brazil
(Recorded by Luis Henrique Camargo Quiroz).