Holy Spirit the "Soul of Our Soul," Says Pope

Reflects on Paul's Teachings About Third Person of the Trinity

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 15, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The Holy Spirit by his presence in effect "becomes the soul of our soul," helping us to pray to God, says Benedict XVI.



The Third Person of the Trinity "makes up for our deficiencies and offers the Father our adoration, along with our most profound aspirations," the Pope said at today's general audience in St. Peter's Square.

In the meditation he offered to the thousands of people gathered at the Vatican, the Holy Father reflected, for the third time, on the life and work of the Apostle Paul. This time he focused on Paul's teaching about the Holy Spirit.

Paul not only shows that the Holy Spirit "imprints a vigorous drive to assume the commitment of the mission to witness the Gospel on the paths of the world," as seen in the Acts of the Apostles, but he also illustrates "his presence in the life of the Christian," said Benedict XVI.

"That is, Paul reflects on the Spirit showing his influence not only on the Christian's action but over his very being," the Pope said.

For the Apostle, "the Spirit penetrates our most intimate personal depths," added the Holy Father.

Having received the Spirit in Baptism, the Christian can exclaim "Abba! Father!", states Paul in the Letter to the Romans (8:15).

"Our great dignity consists in this: We are not only images but children of God," commented the Pope.

Most secret part

On a sunny morning in Rome, Benedict XVI said: "There can be no authentic prayer without the presence of the Spirit in us. …

"The Spirit of the Father and of the Son, becomes the soul of our soul, the most secret part of our being, from which rises incessantly to God a movement of prayer, of which we cannot even specify the terms."

This fact led the Pope to exhort those present "to be ever more sensitive, more attentive to this presence of the Spirit in us, to transform it into prayer, to experience this presence and to learn in this way to pray, to speak with the Father as children in the Holy Spirit."

Recalling a phrase of St. Augustine, "If you see charity, you see the Trinity," the Bishop of Rome clarified that "the Spirit is that interior power which harmonizes their [believers'] hearts with Christ's heart and moves them to love their brethren as Christ loved them.

"The Spirit stimulates us to engage in relationships of charity with all people. In this way, when we love we make room for the Spirit, we allow him to express himself in fullness."

The Pope added that "the action of the Spirit orients our life toward the great values of love, joy, communion and hope."

The Holy Father was continuing his series of meditations on the figures of men and women of the early Church, after having meditated on the Twelve Apostles.