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Catholic Dictionary




The sending of one divine person by another, producing a new kind of presence in the created world that corresponds to their eternal origins within the Godhead. Only those persons are sent into the world of creation who proceed within the Trinity, and they are sent only by those from whom they proceed. Hence the Father is sent by no one, the Son is sent by the Father, and the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son. The missions are either visible or invisible, depending on how the divine message comes to creatures. Thus the Incarnation of the Son of God is a visible mission of the greatest possible perfection. The visible missions of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and of parted tongues are mainly symbolic of his invisible mission whenever sanctifying grace is infused into a human soul.