In this week’s Gospel, Jesus talks about how the Holy Spirit is coming to the newly converted Samarians.
For me, the Holy Spirit is the hardest part of the Trinity to wrap my mind around. Even though I can’t fully understand God the Father or Jesus the Son, at least I can picture them. They are tangible.
The Holy Spirit is much less tangible. Because of this, it is represented in lots of ways. Sometimes it’s symbolized as a dove, other times a flame, and still other times it’s just the wind.
This is hard to wrap my mind around.
The most useful description of the Holy Spirit, to me, is how it is referred to in the original Hebrew of the Old Testament: “Ruach Hakodesh” (רוח הקודש). The first part of that, ruach, is literally translated as breath. The whole phrase then becomes “breath of God” or “breath of life”.
Even though I can’t see breath, I understand it. Breath is essential. We literally can’t live without it.
When I take deep breaths, I am relaxed and comfortable. When I listen to my breath, I am more present in each moment. When I pay attention to my breath, I become more open.
The Holy Spirit is the breath of life. It is omnipresent and essential. When I am more aware of the Holy Spirit, it presents itself to me. When I am more present to the Holy Spirit, it has a greater impact in my life.
Even when I don’t understand it and can’t wrap my mind around it, by simply being open to to the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, I can be more present to God and feel him more fully in my life.