Question: On Pentecost you spoke of the Holy Ghost as the "Advocate" My French language missal uses a word similar to Counselor or, perhaps, Consoler. What do you mean when you say that the Holy Ghost is an Advocate?
Answer: In the missal, the Latin word in question is "Paraclitus," which comes directly from the Greek used by Saint John, and is sometimes translated into English as "Paraclete." The Greek word is roughly translated as "one who calls together with another." Our Lord refers to the Holy Ghost as "another paraclete," with the implication that He (Jesus) was the first paraclete.1 Traditionally, on this basis, "paraclete" is often translated as "advocate"; after the ascension, the Holy Ghost, in a sense, takes over the role of the Son as the Advocate of mankind before the Father. The Paraclete is also the Advocate of the Son, "the Spirit of truth, bearing witness concerning Him."2 "Advocate" is here understood in the legal sense of an attorney who appears with his client and pleads the client's case before a judge.
Another legal term, "counselor," is used to translate "paraclete" because he would "bring to mind whatever [our Lord] said to [His apostles]."3 He is thus an expert advisor, reminding Christians of all that they have learned from Jesus Christ.
Finally, the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, is sometimes called the Consoler or Comforter from the general tenor of our Lord's words at the Last Supper, indicating that the events of Pentecost would restore comfort and confidence to the Apostles.4 Our Lord's prophetic words are amply vindicated in the Apostles' and the Church's labors to "make disciples of all nations."5
In differing degrees and in differing roles, it is proper to apply the name of "advocate" to the Holy Ghost, to Jesus Christ, to His Blessed Virgin Mother, and to all the saints who plead our cause before the throne of God. Similarly the name of "counselor," insofar ar they keep us on the path to righteousness and truth. And, likewise, the names of "comforter" and "consoler," as their help in heaven makes more bearable our stay on earth. It goes without saying, of course, that advocacy, counsel, comfort, and consolation pertain to God as they pertain to no created being. [God does not "know" the truth, He is Truth; He does not "dispense" justice, He is Justice; etc.] He is Advocate, Comforter, Counselor, and Consolation. Blessed be the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, the Paraclete!