Praying to the Holy Spirit


petertripodi asked this question on 1/25/2001:

there is no example in the bible of anyone praying to the holy spirit. Even in the chapter with Ezekiel, he is not praying, but prophesying to him. now I know He is God so one could argue "What’s the difference" but that argument is like saying since all three members of the trinity are god then why not say God the Father is begotten of the Son..."What’s the difference ?" so should we not pray to the Holy spirit since he only does what he is sent by God to do and receiving prayer is not his role




The joy of the risen Lord be in your heart.

I'm not sure if I understand the implications of your question. I have some doubt. Therefore, I will address several possibilities.

Supposing that it's only about if we should pray directly to the Holy Spirit. We can and we do. You need only to frequent the Charismatic Renewal Groups of the Catholic Church. The implication is that when you pray to one person of the Holy Trinity you pray to all because they are one God. But generally the Church's tradition continues to pray in the way of Saint Paul whose doxologies frequently consider that order: Father – Son – Holy Spirit in the holy liturgy.

Supposing you have a dogmatical question regarding the Holy Trinity, I could say offhand that the mere words as they appear in Scripture express a sequence of procession. From the early Church of Jerusalem on the Church has prayed and taught this way.

Look at the very early letter of Pope Clement to the Corinthians:

"Wherefore also I praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, and I glorify Thee, along with the everlasting and heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all coming ages. Amen." (1 Clement Cor 14).

You have a very early clarification in the letter of Saint Ignatius martyr to the Ephesians (cap. 9): " But the Holy Spirit does not speak His own things, but those of Christ, and that not from himself, but from the Lord; even as the Lord also announced to us the things that He received from the Father. For, says He, "the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father’s, who sent Me." And says He of the Holy Spirit, "He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever things He shall hear from Me." And He says of Himself to the Father, "I have," says He, "glorified Thee upon the earth; I have finished the work which, Thou gavest Me; I have manifested Thy name to men." And of the Holy Ghost, "He shall glorify Me, for He receives of Mine."

And Teophylos Autolycus (it's the first time someone uses this expression "triad") comments (book 2): "In like manner also the three days (of creation) which were before the luminaries, are types of the Trinity, of God, and His Word, and His wisdom (Holy Spirit)."

And here is a last of many many examples I could offer you. Look at Clement Al. (Stromata 5, 14) discovers vestiges of the Holy Trinity even in the writings of the philosophers of old: " For I pass over Plato; he plainly, in the Epistle to Erastus and Coriscus, is seen to exhibit the Father and Son somehow or other from the Hebrew Scriptures, exhorting in these words: "In invoking by oath, with not illiterate gravity, and with culture, the sister of gravity, God the author of all, and invoking Him by oath as the Lord, the Father of the Leader, and author; whom if ye study with a truly philosophical spirit, ye shall know." And the address in the Timoeus calls the creator, Father, speaking thus: "Ye gods of gods, of whom I am Father; and the Creator of your works." So that when he says, "Around the king of all, all things are, and because of Him are all things; and he [or that] is the cause of all good things; and around the second are the things second in order; and around the third, the third," I understand nothing else than the Holy Trinity to be meant; for the third is the Holy Spirit, and the Son is the second, by whom all things were made according to the will of the Father. "

Supposing you want a theological, systematic view, I suggest that you look at the Catechism. I will cite only the first numbers of the catechism's doctrine:


" 234 The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith".[56] The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin".[57]

235 This paragraph expounds briefly (I) how the mystery of the Blessed Trinity was revealed, (II) how the Church has articulated the doctrine of the faith regarding this mystery, and (III) how, by the divine missions of the Son and the Holy Spirit, God the Father fulfils the "plan of his loving goodness" of creation, redemption and sanctification.

236 The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology (theologia) and economy (oikonomia). "Theology" refers to the mystery of God's inmost life within the Blessed Trinity and "economy" to all the works by which God reveals himself and communicates his life. Through the oikonomia the theologia is revealed to us; but conversely, the theologia illuminates the whole oikonomia. God's works reveal who he is in himself; the mystery of his inmost being enlightens our understanding of all his works. So it is, analogously, among human persons. A person discloses himself in his actions, and the better we know a person, the better we understand his actions.

237 The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the "mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God".[58] To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel's faith before the Incarnation of God's Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit."

Finally, you should look at the two wonderful hymns to the Holy Spirit of the liturgy celebrating Pentecost. The Church prays officially to the Holy Spirit.

In the seminary, we begin frequently the lectures with a prayer to the Holy Spirit.










 Where come these questions from?