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St. Thomas Aquinas
Catechetical Instructions

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  • THE EIGHTH ARTICLE: "I Believe in the Holy Ghost."
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Many benefits come to us from the Holy Ghost. (1) He cleanses us from our

sins. The reason is that one must repair that which one has made. Now, the

soul is created by the Holy Spirit, because God has made all things through

Him; for God, by loving His goodness, created everything: "Thou lovest all

things that are, and hatest none of the things which Thou hast made."18

Thus, Dionysius says: "Divine love did not permit Him to be without

offspring."19 It is necessary, therefore, that the hearts of men, destroyed

by sin, be made anew by the Holy Ghost: "Thou shalt send forth Thy Spirit,

and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth."20

Nor is it any wonder that the Spirit cleanses, since all sins are taken

away by love: "Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much."21

"Charity covereth all sins."22 And likewise: "Charity covereth a multitude

of sins.23


(2) The Holy Spirit enlightens the intellect, since all that we know, we

know through the Holy Ghost: "But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the

Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring all

things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you."24 Also: "His

unction teacheth you all things."25


(3) He assists us and, to a certain extent, compels us to keep the

commandments. No one can keep the commandments unless he loves God: "If any

one love Me, he will keep My word."26 Thus, the Holy Spirit makes us love

God: "And I give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I

will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and will give you a heart

of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in the midst of you; and I will cause

you to walk in My commandments and to keep My judgments and do them."27


(4) He strengthens in us the hope of eternal life, because He is the pledge

to us of this our destiny: "You were signed with the Holy Spirit of promise

who is the pledge of our inheritance."28 He is, as it were, the surety of

our eternal life. The reason is that eternal life is due to man inasmuch as

he is become the son of God; and this is brought about in that he is made

like unto Christ; and this, in turn, follows from his having the Spirit of

Christ, and this is the Holy Ghost: "For you have not received the spirit

of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of

sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the Spirit Himself giveth

testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God."29 And also: "Because

you are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying:

Abba, Father."30


(5) He counsels us when we are in doubt, and teaches us what is the will of

God: "He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the

churches."31 Likewise: "I may hear him as a master."32




18. Wis., xi. 25.


19 Div. Nom., IV.


20. Ps. ciii. 30.


21. Luke, vii. 47.


22. Prov., x. 12.


23. I Peter, iv. 8.


24. John, xiv. 26.


25. I John, ii. 27.


26. John, xiv. 23.


27. Ezech., xxxvi. 26-27.


28. Eph., i. 13.


29. Rom., viii. 15-16.


30. Gal., iv. 6.


31. Apoc., ii. 7


32. Isa., l. 4.

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