Can the Holy Spirit be Called an “Energy Force”?

AB writes: “We have a priest filling in for our normal parish priest who is on retreat and this priest gave a Parish Mission teaching New Age prayer.  Is it New Age to call the Holy Spirit an energy force?”


The reason why so many New Agers like to refer to the Holy Spirit as an energy force is because the Hebrew word “ruah” – which means breath or spirit – is sometimes used to describe Him in Scripture.

However, we know from Jesus Himself that the Spirit is not an “it” (energy force) but a “He”.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.” (John 14: 15-17)

Jesus is obviously speaking about a “Person” here, not an energy force, otherwise He would be referring to it as an “it” rather than as “he” and “him.”

The Catechism also makes this quite clear. It teaches us that “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 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.” (No. 689)

Obviously, if the Father and the Son are Persons and the Holy Spirit is inseparable from them, then He also must be a Person.

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