As we approach the Feast of Pentecost, it's a good time to review our knowledge of the forgotten Person of the Most Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and from the procession the Holy Spirit receives His proper name. Saint Augustine, that great Doctor of the Church, teaches
As "to be born" is, for the Son, to be from the Father, so, for the Holy Ghost, "to be the Gift of God" is to proceed from Father and Son.
- Saint Augustine, De Trinitate 4, 20.
Quoting this passage from Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas writes:
The Holy Ghost receives His proper name from the fact that He proceeds from Father and Son. Therefore 'Gift' is the proper name of the Holy Ghost. I answer that, Gift, taken personally in God, is the proper name of the Holy Ghost.
In proof of this we must know that a gift is properly an unreturnable giving, as Aristotle says (Topic. iv, 4)--i.e. a thing which is not given with the intention of a return--and it thus contains the idea of a gratuitous donation. Now, the reason of donation being gratuitous is love; since therefore do we give something to anyone gratuitously forasmuch as we wish him well. So what we first give him is the love whereby we wish him well. Hence it is manifest that love has the nature of a first gift, through which all free gifts are given. So since the Holy Ghost proceeds as love, as stated above (27, 4; 37, 1), He proceeds as the first gift. Hence Augustine says (De Trin. xv, 24): "By the gift, which is the Holy Ghost, many particular gifts are portioned out to the members of Christ."
So then, the proper name of the Holy Ghost is "Gift." He is the personified donation of the Father and the Son.
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 Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
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