The Plurality of the Holy Spirit

I have often marveled at how God works differently in each one of us. It’s not as if God has a handful of ways that He works, and He may use formula #9 on Mike, Kelly, and Fred, but on Sally, Chuck, and Lucy He uses formula #5. We truly experience God, and come to know God in very unique ways. I dare say, no two journeys to God are alike. They may be similar, but hardly identical. It is with this in mind, that I turn to the Divine Office of Readings for today. This was written by Saint Cyril of Jerusalem from one of his catechetical instructions. The topic is “The living water of the Holy Spirit”:

The water I shall give him will become in him a fountain of living water, welling up to eternal life. This is a new kind of water, a living, leaping water, welling up for those who are worthy. But why did Christ call the grace of the Spirit water? Because all things are dependent on water… although it is always the same in itself, it produces many different effects, one in the palm tree, another in the vine, and so on throughout the whole creation… while remaining essentially the same, it adapts itself to the needs of every creature that receives it.

In the same way the Holy Spirit, whose nature is always the same, simple and indivisible, apportions grace to each man as he wills… The Spirit makes on man a teacher of divine truth, inspires another to prophesy, gives another the power of casting out devils, enables another to interpret holy Scripture. The Spirit strengthens one man’s self-control, shows another how to help the poor, teaches another to fast and lead a life of asceticism, makes another oblivious to the needs of the body, trains another for martyrdom. His action is different in different people, but the Spirit himself is always the same. In each person, Scripture says, the Spirit reveals his presence in a particular way for the common good.


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