THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: THE LANGUAGE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep
“‘No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.’ Now God’s Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance, but the Spirit does not speak of himself. The Spirit who ‘has spoken through the prophets’ makes us hear the Father’s Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith.” – The Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 687.
Our subject matter today is a topical issue in the school of the Holy Spirit. A very controversial one and one that has caused a lot of confusion and separation among Christians.
In an attempt to speak about the language of the Holy Spirit, many schools of thought have emerged with divergent postulations. But because the Holy Spirit is very friendly, His ways are very clear and simple. Meanwhile, sometimes in trying to speak about the language of the Holy Spirit, we quickly forget that the Holy Spirit is the Third Divine Person of the Blessed Trinity and we end up separating the Holy Spirit from God the Father and the Son. To this end, asking many friends of the language of the Holy Spirit, the popular answer amidst others is “speaking in tongues or glossolalia.” However, it is high time we distinguish between the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, the language of the Holy Spirit is the language of God. The language that is spoken by both God the Father and the Son. God the Son for instance says: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak” (John 16:13). The language of God is LOVE. Thus, it is not difficult to accept the Johannine description of God: “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Language is a method of communication within a community of persons. God is a community of Three Divine Persons and as sure, His nature as love is communicated to the world through His Word – Jesus Christ (John 1:1) and in His Power (the breath). The power that inspires the spoken word of the Father is the Holy Spirit. Can you see why theology would say that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is both the Lover and Beloved and the Love between them. Finally, the content of the Word spoken by God the Father through His Son and in the Holy Spirit is the Truth (John 14:6).
Prayer texts: Acts 5:27-33; Ps. 34; John 3:31-36