Many people falsely believe the church began when Christ rose from the dead. However, the official beginning of the church is celebrated on Pentecost Sunday.
Fifty days after the crucifixion, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles. They were transfigured from frightened, confused disciples of Jesus to men of courage and conviction. Their confusion was removed by the Holy Spirit, or as Jesus called him…The Advocate.
The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity. As Catholics, we believe in One God, manifest by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Belief in the trinity was passed on through church traditions. Before every prayer, we begin with the sign of the cross, praying in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. The mystery of the cross (suffering) is important to our faith. Without suffering, we cannot come close to Jesus on the cross. Jesus told the Apostles He would not leave them orphaned. He would send them the Advocate, to lead and guide them. Today, we call the Advocate the Holy Spirit.
Just as each of us has more than one type of relationship (mother, daughter, sister) God also shows Himself to us in different ways; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father is the creator of everything, Jesus is the Son, sent to redeem the world from the slavery of sin, and the Holy Spirit is the Advocate sent to guide and show us the way to the Father and Son.
The most important part of prayer is actually listening in quiet for guidance from God. Sharing with him our pain, joy and needs is important, but we must also ask him to lead us by His Holy Spirit, so that we may know His will in our life.
The symbols of the Holy Spirit are the Dove, the wind, and the fire. God speaks to us in many ways. Listen for him in the silence.
As Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said,
“In the silence of the heart God speaks.”
When you hear God in the silence of your heart, you are experiencing Pentecost…..the birth of your faith.