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God Who Sows the Seed and Gives the Growth:
Anselm's Theology of the Holy Spirit

Thomas Williams

Anselm understood the Holy Spirit as the engine of teleological fulfillment for the Triune God. Within the Godhead, the Holy Spirit is the “affection of mutual love” by which the divine Memory and Understanding are made dynamic and kept from being “idle and completely useless.” In the spiritual life, the Holy Spirit energizes and makes fruitful the human nature that the Father has created and the Son has redeemed, so that rational creatures achieve their appointed end. Anselm’s most pervasive way of figuring the Holy Spirit is as an agent of supernatural fecundity and growth. The paradigmatic case in which the Holy Spirit sowed a supernatural seed was at the virginal conception of the God-man. Since God’s plan for human beings would have been thwarted if no God-man had come to rescue us, the Holy Spirit had to plant a supernatural seed in order to bring nature itself to fulfillment.

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