The S…I…. “The Holy Spirit is the Soul of the Church”

John Paul II wrote, “Christian Tradition employs the Pauline theme of Ecclesia Corpus Christi, whose life-giving principle, according to the Apostle, is the Holy Spirit. It comes to the conclusion in a most beautiful phrase that the Holy Spirit is the Church’s “soul.” Here we need only quote St. Augustine who in a speech states that “what our spirit, that is, our soul, is in relation to our other members, so the Holy Spirit is to the members of Christ, that is, the Body of Christ which is the Church” (Sermon 269, 2; PL 38, 1232). In speaking of Christ as head of the Body of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas compares the Holy Spirit to the heart, because “invisibly he gives life to and unifies the Church,” just as the heart “carries out its inner influence within the human body” [1] .

The Holy Spirit as “soul of the Church” and “heart of the Church”: this is a beautiful aspect of Tradition which we must delve into more deeply.”

The Holy Spirit is the soul and heart of the Church. St Therese the little flower proclaimed, ” If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn’t lack the noblest of all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart burning with love. And I realized that this love alone was the true motive which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. Love in fact, is the vocation which includes all others; it’s a universe of its own, comprising all time and space-it’s eternal.”

The Holy Spirit as soul and heart of the Church gives the Church life. The Holy Spirit is the very love of God that is poured into our hearts. Without the Holy Spirit as the soul of the Church the apostles would forget to preach, the martyrs would refuse to shed their blood.

A body without a soul is a corpse. The Church without the Holy Spirit is just another human organization.


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