Christian life is powered through the graces of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was promised to the apostles after Christ ascended into heaven. The Holy Spirit first manifested after Christ’s departure on Pentecost where he appeared like tongues of fire upon the them.
The apostles spoke in tongues and performed many miracles on Pentecost. They also spiritually themselves were revitalized. The gifts of the Spirit manifested upon them and gave them the courage and bravery to preach the Gospel. Pentecost was the first time Confirmation was experienced in the church. Through the reception of the Spirit, the apostles became soldiers for Christ.
The amazing power of the Holy Spirit is still experienced today in the Church. Believers who receive the Spirit are able to develop their particular talents for the betterment of the Church. These graces are open to the believer after Baptism. Through the blood of Christ, the Holy Spirit’s ability to communicate grace to baptized souls is once again realized. While confirmation is a reception of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is communicating grace to believers well before.
The Holy Spirit is able to communicate life giving grace to the soul once Baptism occurs. This new life is referred to as sanctifying grace. Yet through Confirmation, new graces are received. Various sacramental graces are also given to the soul by the Holy Spirit throughout the course of one’s spiritual life, as well as multiple spiritual gifts.
These freely given gifts which are never earned but given to us through Christ’s death help individuals. This actual grace helps individuals to choose good and do good. So the Holy Spirit gives to the believer numerous types of grace. Sanctifying grace to give life, sacramental grace to help us grow and actual grace to help us with everyday situations.
These graces help promote virtue within the life of the soul. Some virtues are supernaturally given, while other virtues are moral virtues that are elevated through grace. Faith, hope and love are the three theological virtues which allow the Christian soul to first experience the life of God. Faith helps one believe, while hope helps one have the certainty that the graces needed for salvation will be given. Charity or love is the greatest of the three virtues. Love allows us to experience the love of God himself and share it with our neighbor. Love lasts forever, even unto eternity. (1)
The Holy Spirit also gives to the soul a variety of other virtues. The moral virtues help the soul deal with moral problems of everyday life. Prudence helps the soul make wise decisions. Fortitude helps the soul deal with spiritual adversity. Temperance helps the soul regulate the passions of the body. Finally, Justice helps the soul to treat all others fairly.
The Holy Spirit also gives a variety of gifts to souls. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit help the soul guide itself and others to God. Wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fear of the Lord, fortitude and piety all help Christian better help others. (2)
It is of interest to note that counsel is one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Christian Counselors can play a pivotal role with their gift in helping others cultivate the gifts of the spirit. With guidance and wisdom, a Christian Counselor can help others overcome doubt and fear and become better Christians.
Cultivating and forming spiritual life is based on the grace of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit fuels the Christian life. Through prayer, meditation and the sacraments, one can better cultivate the Christian virtues. Christian Counselors can play the role as Christian Mentors in this way. Spiritual advisers or Christian Mentors can help younger and developing Christians develop their spiritual talents.
Christian Counselors can also play a role with the Holy Spirit through guidance. Spiritual formation is not just about developing one’s spiritual gifts but it also about spiritual growth in God. Christians need to understand the inner calls of God. The consolations and desolations of Christian life with its numerous peaks and valleys are experiences that many need help navigating. Learning to spiritually discern good and evil and true vocation are key elements of spiritual growth. Again, a Christian Counselor, pastor, mentor, or spiritual adviser can play a big role in helping and aiding others in determining their spiritual path.
The Holy Spirit is the ultimate guide in this path. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit, one is able to overcome all things. It is impossible without the guidance and grace of the Holy Spirit to achieve salvation. This is key in understanding. Christ’s death on the cross opened the gates of Heaven and its many graces, but we need to be open to these free gifts. Pentecost was the first outpouring of the Spirit, but it continues to this day.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals offers a certification for those in ministry. The Spiritual Christian Counseling program is a faith based program that helps train ministers and Christian mentors in counseling from a Christian perspective. The program is online and open to qualified to professionals. The courses are all independent study, online and open enrollment. One then has the freedom to work at his or her own pace. This is great for working professionals who need time to continue in their ministry but also wish to progress in spiritual academics.
After completing the seven required courses, one can then apply for a four year certification in Spiritual Christian Counseling. One can renew every four years with five hundred hours of clinical experience and fifty hours of continuing education.
Christian Counseling is a calling and vocation. This calling and the spiritual talents that come with it can be further developed with the certification program in Christian Counseling at AIHCP. If you are interested in learning more or would like to become a certified Christian Counselor then please review the program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs and goals.
In the meantime, the Holy Spirit is the essential element in all spiritual formation. It starts and ends with the grace of the Holy Spirit who constantly feeds souls the necessary graces to work towards Christian perfection and salvation. God the Father is our creator, Jesus Christ, the Logos, is our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit, is the sanctifier
Let us all praise and worship our Triune God, who also found in the Third Person, known as the Holy Spirit.