Water. The symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit’s action in Baptism.
Anointing. The symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit, to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit.
Fire. While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolises the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions.
Cloud and light. These two images occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
The seal is a symbol close to that of anointing. “The Father has set his seal” on Christ and also seals us in him.
The hand. Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them. In his name the apostles will do the same. Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles’ imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is given.
The finger. “It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] cast out demons.” If God’s law was written on tablets of stone “by the finger of God,” then the “letter from Christ” entrusted to the care of the apostles, is written “with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts.” The hymn Veni Creator Spiritus invokes the Holy Spirit as the “finger of the Father’s right hand.”
At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to Baptism, a dove released by Noah returns with a fresh olive-tree branch in its beak as a sign that the earth was again habitable. When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him. The Spirit comes down and remains in the purified hearts of the baptised.
Excerpted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
|Gifts of the Holy Spirit||Fruits of the Holy Spirit|
Fear of the Lord