Ever wonder what is the difference between Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit?
Let me start this post with the Glory Be Father prayer to give honor to the Blessed Trinity. And with the Pentecost season officially being celebrated and started in the Catholic Church, it is a prayer that mentions the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit), the Comforted or the Consoler sent by Heavens and gave tongues of fire to the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.
We often hear and know of God the Father who created heavens and earth. We know Jesus, the Son of God, who took the human form and died on the Cross for our salvation. But who is the Holy Ghost? The Third Person of the Blessed Trinity seems to be very mysterious, hidden, and working behind the scenes.
On the Sunday on the feast of the Pentecost, our priest gave this very beautiful sermon about the Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit). Let me write to you about how the priest theologically explained the Third Person. I hope my memory and my notes serve me well this time.
TOP 3 difference between Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit
It is first better to explain and distinguish the differences between the two English terminologies used to refer to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
The word ‘spirit’ has a more general meaning
The English word ‘spirit’ can mean a lot of different things. It can mean wine or alcohol. It can mean a particular mood, or feeling, or disposition. An example of this is when you say in the spirit of confidence, or in the spirit of Vatican II, etc. And lastly, the word ‘spirit’ can also mean soul or the non-physical part or essence of a particular entity.
The term ‘Holy Ghost’ captures the divine reality
When you say Holy Spirit, you are not offending the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity for both terms are valid. But the term ‘Holy Ghost’ best captures the divine reality of the existence of the Third Person. You might be horrified at first when you hear the word ‘ghost’. You might think of haunted houses, cemeteries, and other sorts. But at the same time, you know that these materials have immaterial essence which is of the supernatural, something that is more than life and death. And once you get past the horror of such sceneries, only the knowledge of supernatural reality remains.
It goes back to translation
The Holy Bible, before it was translated from Latin to the English language, uses the word spiritus. In the Douay Rheims Bible, the term Holy Ghost is used extensively.
Other versions of the Bible use Holy Spirit.
Note: The Douay–Rheims Bible is a translation of the Latin Vulgate, which is itself a translation from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. Source
Related Article: Why Traditional Catholics say Holy Ghost and not Holy Spirit
Signs of the presence of the Holy Ghost
We all hear about souls being possessed by demons, but souls can also be possessed by the Holy Ghost. And the mode of entry has opposite effects. Demons, being of devil nature, attacks the soul creating chaos and diabolical possessions. But with the Holy Ghost, He enters naturally without you even knowing it for He acts upon your soul so naturally. Just like when water flows slowly, the Holy Ghost enters one’s soul so gently that your human nature will not oppose it because it happens in a natural way.
And how does the Holy Ghost choose souls on which He enters?
The Bible tells us these:
- “The Father will send you the Paraclete.”
- “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments”.
With these words, we are reminded that if we really love God, then we should do His commandments at whatever costs.
But if you both love God and follow His commandments, then God the Father will send you the Paraclete, who is the Holy Ghost.
1. The Spirit of Truth
One of the signs of the presence of the Holy Ghost in a soul is having a love for the truth, for honesty requires virtue.
2. Communicate with love
Love is charity. But what are the external signs of charity in a soul?
- Resolves never to commit mortal sin. This is the lowest level.
- Resolves never to commit venial sin.
- Resolves never to offend God even in affection. This is the highest degree and which the Saints possess. This is the road to perfection and must be aspired under the wise direction of a spiritual director.
3. Fruits of the Holy Ghost
When something reaches maturity, it bears fruit. The Fruits of the Holy Ghost are charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity (perseverance), mildness, faith, modesty, contingency, and chastity.
One of the barriers to the Holy Ghost entering one soul is if the soul is under the sin of the flesh. This is because flesh and the spirit cannot exist together and will oppose each other. And the Holy Ghost is the purest and highest spirit, that is why He cannot exist in a soul that suffers in the sin of the flesh.
Come Holy Ghost,
fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Ghost,
did instruct the hearts of the faithful,
grant that by the same spirit,
we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.