The Holy Spirit Our Greatest Friend
The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God. Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world. In adoring the Holy Trinity, life-giving, consubstantial, and indivisible, the Church's faith also professes the distinction of persons. When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him. #689 Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is without doubt the most important of all the Church's teachings because, if we do not know and love the Holy Spirit, we cannot possibly understand the other great truths of our Holy Religion. Without the Holy Spirit we are blind!
Not only is this doctrine the most important, it is the most wonderful, the most consoling, the most sublime of all doctrines, for with the Holy Spirit we can do all things easily and well. He is the Spirit of Love, of Peace, of Joy, the Spirit of Divine Consolation. He is the Light of Our Souls and the Strength of Our Wills. Yet this doctrine is little understood by a great number of Christians. Some have a vague knowledge of the Holy Spirit, but very few indeed have a real grasp of all the Holy Spirit has done for them and is most ready to do if only they allow Him, but many rarely or ever think of the Holy Spirit!
"How extraordinary," Cardinal Manning exclaims, "it is that Christians know so little about the Holy Spirit though He is the Author of our sanctification, the Giver of all Joys and Consolations!" His Eminence was in his youth a sincere Protestant, he became, with the help of the Holy Spirit, a fervent Catholic. Under the same divine guidance, he became a priest, a bishop and finally a cardinal. He ever cherished a great devotion to the Holy Spirit and solved all his doubts and difficulties by praying to the Holy Spirit. When called on to make any important decision, he first of all bent his head in silent prayer. If the problems were graver, he devoted more time and fervor in asking for guidance. Thanks to the graces he thus received, he was able to not only to attain high personal sanctity but to render great services to the Catholic Church in England. He wrote two beautiful books on the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Our Greatest Friend
Cardinal Newman gives us a touching example of love for the Holy Spirit. he, too, was brought up by his parents in the Protestant religion. Unfortunately, he had the strongest prejudices against the Catholic Church. At an early age he began to see that his own religion could not be the true one, so full was it of contradictions and errors. He spent years trying to find the True Church of Christ. He read history, argued with important people, and consulted many learned friends, but all in vain. He failed to recognize in the midst of so many claims, the religion given to us by Jesus Christ. Finally, one day he received from God, who was pleased with his good intentions, an inspiration.
"What have I been doing!" he exclaimed. I have labored much, I have studied, I have read many books, I have consulted good friends, but I have not prayed enough, I have not sufficiently asked God's light and guidance." Then falling on his knees he prayed fervently. The clouds of doubt began to disappear, and he at last saw the truth of the Catholic Church. He describes his conversion in the following beautiful hymn, written not long before his conversion.
Lead Kindly Light
Lead Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom, Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home, Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see the distant scene - one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou shouldst lead me on,
I lived to choose and see my path; but now Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day; and, spite of fears, pride ruled my will: remember not past years.
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till the night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile which I have loved long since and lost awhile.
He became a Catholic and following his example, more than a thousand Protestant ministers were converted and a very host of laymen.
Source: Fr. Paul O'Sullivan. the Holy Ghost Our greatest Friend.