The Holy Spirit and the Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) provides the following:
The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ’s faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may “bear much fruit.”
Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world. Through the Church’s sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body.
These “mighty works of God,” offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church, bear their fruit in the new life in Christ, according to the Spirit.
These mighty works of God — the gifts of the Holy Spirit — are manifest in our lives as Fruits, Gifts and Charisms.
Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Charisms of the Holy Spirit
Characteristics of the Gifts
- The twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory.
- They are the manifestation that an individual has received the Holy Spirit’s gifts.
- They are for the perfection of the individual.
- The seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are the permeant dispositions which help us to live the Christian life and follow the promptings of the Spirit.
- They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them.
- The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are for strengthening and building up the individual.
- The nine Charisms are specific graces of the Holy Spirit which we use to directly benefits others and the Church.
- They are given to the individual to help a person live out the Christian life and to serve the common good in building up the Church.
- These Charisms are stirred up within us through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit — the infilling of the Spirit.
Example of the Charisms of the Holy Spirit
In the early Church, these gifts and Charisms were in active use by the Apostles for the good of people. We see the actions of the Holy Spirit and the power of His gifts throughout the Acts of the Apostles. Here is one example:
“While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and came (down) to Ephesus where he found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They answered him, ‘We have never even heard that there is a holy Spirit.’ He said, ‘How were you baptized?’ They replied, ‘With the baptism of John.’ Paul then said, ‘John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid [his] hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Altogether there were about twelve men.
Acts 19: 1-7