“Disfigured by sin and death, man remains “in the image of God,” in the image of the Son, but is deprived “of the glory of God, of his likeness.” “… the Son himself will assume that “image” and restore it in the Father’s “likeness” by giving it again its Glory, the Spirit who is “the giver of life.”–CCC705
Mankind has separated itself from the love of the Father, like the prodigal son of the Gospel, man no longer wants to be the image of God, but the image of himself, which is a false image — not who God created us to be; his sons and daughters. The Holy Spirit restores God’s likeness in us through the merciful face of Jesus.
In the letter, “Misericordiae Vultus” (Merciful Face) Pope Francis invokes the Holy Spirit by praying, “May the Holy Spirit, who guides the steps of believers in co-operating with the work of salvation wrought by Christ, lead the way and support the People of God so that they may contemplate the face of mercy.”
Pope St. John Paul II who dedicated the millennium to The Holy Face also prayed, ”May the Holy Spirit, which you have granted, bring to maturation your work of salvation, though your Holy Face, which shines forever and ever.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI tells us that the Holy Spirit illuminates the reciprocity between God the Father and Jesus the Son: “Jesus has divine dignity and God has the human face of Jesus. God shows himself in Jesus and by doing so gives us the truth about ourselves.”
The truth is that we are not God, our own image is a false one and we need the Holy Spirit “to restore his likeness” in us through Jesus, the King of Mercy. By the mutual gaze of love between the Face of God and the soul of man, God restores his image in our souls.
At the first Pentecost the Holy Spirit manifested as fire. Jesus said, “I come to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already enkindled.” (Lk 12:49) The fire of the Holy Spirit blazes, but does not destroy when it burns. The effect of the fire of the Holy Spirit is to purify, sanctify and transform us, through the Cross, into his image in truth and love and re-animating our souls with the Holy Spirit’s breath of life.
Burn within us, Holy Fire, so that chaste in body and pure of heart, we may desire to see the Face of God.
Prayer to Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit
Hail, Mother of Mercy, Mother of God, and Mother of pardon, Mother of hope, and Mother of grace, Mother of holy joy — O Mary!
Hail, happy Virgin Mother, for he who sits at the Father’s right hand and rules over the heavens, earth and sky, enclosed himself in your womb — O Mary!
The Uncreated Father made you, the Holy Spirit overshadowed you, the only begotten Son became man in you: divine was your making — O Mary!
Be our consolation; O Virgin, be our joy; and after this our exile bring us to our heavenly home — O Mary!
–Salve, Mater Misericordiae