Growing up in Ireland in the 50’s and 60’s Jesus was the centre of our spirituality. The Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, as it was then, was not in the picture and was rightly known as the Holy Ghost – ‘the cinderella of theology’ – ‘the forgotten God’.
Yves Cougar, one of the best known theologians of the 20th century was a participant at Vatican 2. Having listened to the Orthodox theologians he realised he knew nothing about the Holy Spirit and claimed that we needed Vatican 3 to restore the role of the Holy Spirit in the church. It didn’t happen. And today ironically the church suffers from a fundamental problem – a lack of faith in the reality of the Holy Spirit
The Orthodox claimed that the church had opted for what they called the three great white things and ignored the role of the Holy Spirit – the Pope dressed in white, the white host, the pure, white virgin.
The emphasis on Jesus and the downplaying of the role of the Spirit was underpinned by a powerful, unchanging, institutional church, founded by Jesus Christ and upheld by his vicar the Pope.
There was little room here for anything as unpredictable as the Holy Spirit blowing where it will.
We need to recover a livelier doctrine of the Holy Spirit as a divine person. Mark Wallace maintains, ” that the most adequate response to the current crisis lies in a recovery of the Holy Spirit as a natural living being who indwells and sustain all forms of life.” It is making a come back as a fluid and expansive presence in the world – we are entering a new era the era of the Holy Spirit following the era of the Father (Judaism) and of the son (Christianity) .