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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FRANCIS BEGINS A NEW SERIES OF CATECHESIS ON THE HOLY SPIRIT


Vatican City, 9 April 2014 (VIS) – In today's general audience Pope Francis began a series of catechesis dedicated to the Holy Spirit, which “constitutes the soul and the vital lymph of the Church and of every Christian”. The Holy Spirit is “God's quintessential gift”, and in turn “communicates many spiritual gifts to those who welcome it”. The Church identifies seven of these, a number that symbolically indicates plenitude and completeness, and these are invoked in the ancient prayer, the “Sequence to the Holy Spirit”: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord.

Today the Holy Father spoke about the first: wisdom. “It is not simply human wisdom, the fruit of knowledge and experience”. The wisdom the Holy Spirit grants is “the grace of being able to see things through God's eyes. It seeing the world, situations … problems, everything, with the eyes of God. … And obviously this derives from intimacy with God … from the relationship of a son with his Father. … When we are in communion with the Lord, it is through the Holy Spirit that our heart transforms and we are able to perceive all its warmth and predilection”.

The Holy Spirit endows the Christian with wisdom, but “not, however, in the sense of having an answer for everything, of knowing everything, but in the sense of 'knowing' God … of knowing how God acts, knowing when something is God's and when it is not. … The heart of the man who is wise in this way has the taste, the flavour of God. … We have the Holy Spirit inside us, in our heart; we can listen to it, or we can choose not to listen to it. If we listen to the Holy Spirit, He will teach us this way of wisdom, and will give us the wisdom to see through God's eyes, to hear with God's ears, to love with the heart of God, to judge with God's judgement. This is the wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives us, and all of us can have this. We need only ask the Holy Spirit”.

As an example of wisdom in daily life, the Pope gave the example of marriage; if, after an argument, a married couple “do not look at each other, or look at each other without warmth: is this the wisdom of God? No! If, instead, they say, ' the trouble has passed, let's make up' and begin again in peace … this is the gift of wisdom”.

“We do not learn this”, he concluded; “it is a gift from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we must ask the Lord Who gives us the Holy Spirit, Who gives us the gift … of that wisdom of God that teaches us to look through God's eyes, to feel with God's heart, to speak with God's words. And so, with this wisdom, we go ahead, we create a family, build a Church, and we are all sanctified. Let us ask, today, for the grace of wisdom. And let us ask this of Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom”.

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