(Vatican Radio) In preparation for the Feast of Pentecost and in the context of the
Year of Faith catechesis on the Creed, Pope Francis dedicated his Wednesday audience
to the action that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in us, in guiding us to the Truth.
Emer McCarthy reports. Listen:
He said “In this Year of Faith let us ask ourselves if we have
actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and the truths of faith more, by
reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Catechism, steadily approaching
the Sacraments. But at the same time let us ask ourselves what steps we are taking
so that the faith directs our whole existence. Do not be a ‘part-time” Christian,
at certain moments, in certain circumstances, in certain choices, be Christian at
all times! The truth of Christ, that the Holy Spirit teaches us and gives us, always
and forever involves our daily lives. Let us invoke him more often, to guide us on
the path of Christ's disciples”.
Ahead of the audience the Holy father released
two white doves into the sky over St Peter’s Square, presented to him by pilgrims.
in a moment of dialogue with the crowd, estimated at 100 thousand this Wednesday,
Pope Francis asked them to pray to Holy Spirit every day. "Will you do it?" he asked,
the crowd answered "yes". The Pope was not content however, and again said : "I can’t
hear you!", to which the crowd shouted even louder “YES!”.
In his greetings
in Italian, finally, Pope Francis announced his desire to visit Cagliari, Sardinia,
and in particular the shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria "probably in September'. The Pope
also explained that there is a strong bond between the sanctuary and "his" Buenos
Aires, due to the fact that the sailors who brought the founder of the city to Argentina
were Sardinian and they wanted the city to be named after their Patron Saint, which
from Our Lady of Bonaria [Fair Winds] became, over time, Buenos Aires.
a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s general audience catechesis Wednesday
May 15, 2013:
Dear brothers and sisters, good day!
today I want
to focus on the action that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in guiding the Church and
each one of us to the Truth. Jesus says to his disciples: the Holy Spirit, “he will
guide you to all truth" (Jn 16:13), he himself being "the Spirit of truth" (cf. Jn
14:17; 15:26; 16:13). We live in an age rather skeptical of truth. Benedict XVI
has spoken many times of relativism, that is, the tendency to believe that nothing
is definitive, and think that the truth is given by consent or by what we want. The
question arises: does "the" truth really exist? What is "the" truth? Can we know it?
Can we find it? Here I am reminded of the question of the Roman procurator Pontius
Pilate when Jesus reveals the profound meaning of his mission: "What is truth?" (Jn
18,37.38). Pilate does not understand that "the" Truth is in front of him, he cannot
see in Jesus the face of the truth, which is the face of God yet, Jesus is just that:
the Truth, which, in the fullness of time, "became flesh" (Jn 1,1.14), came among
us so that we may know it. You cannot grab the truth as if it were an object, you
encounter it. It is not a possession, is an encounter with a Person.
helps us recognize that Jesus is "the" Word of truth, the only begotten Son of God
the Father? St. Paul teaches that "no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the
holy Spirit" (1 Cor 12:3). It is the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen Christ, that
helps us recognize the Truth. Jesus calls him the "Paraclete", meaning "the one who
comes to our aid," who is by our side to support us in this journey of knowledge,
and at the Last Supper, Jesus assures his disciples that the Holy Spirit will teach
them all things , reminding them of his words (cf. Jn 14:26).
What is then
the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the life of the Church to guide
us to the truth? First of all, remind and imprint on the hearts of believers the words
that Jesus said, and precisely through these words, God’s law - as the prophets of
the Old Testament had announced - is inscribed in our hearts and becomes within us
a principle of evaluation in our choices and of guidance in our daily actions, it
becomes a principle of life. Ezekiel’s great prophecy is realized: "I will sprinkle
clean water over you to make you clean; from all your impurities and from all your
idols I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put
within you. …I will put my spirit within you so that you walk in my statutes, observe
my ordinances, and keep them"(36:25-27). Indeed, our actions are born from deep within:
it is the heart that needs to be converted to God, and the Holy Spirit transforms
it if we open ourselves to Him
The Holy Spirit, then, as Jesus promises, guides
us "into all truth" (Jn 16:13) he leads us not only to an encounter with Jesus, the
fullness of Truth, but guides us "into" the Truth, that is, he helps us enter into
a deeper communion with Jesus himself, gifting us knowledge of the things of God.
We cannot achieve this on our own strengths. If God does not enlightens us interiorly,
our being Christians will be superficial. The Tradition of the Church affirms that
the Spirit of truth acts in our hearts, provoking that "sense of faith" (sensus fidei),
through which, as the Second Vatican Council affirms, the People of God, under the
guidance of the Magisterium, adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for
all to the saints,(113) penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies
it more fully in its life (cf. Dogmatic Constitution. Lumen gentium, 12). Let's
ask ourselves: are we open to the Holy Spirit, do I pray to him to enlighten me, to
make me more sensitive to the things of God? And this is a prayer we need to pray
every day, every day: Holy Spirit may my heart be open to the Word of God, may my
heart be open to good, may my heart be open to the beauty of God, every day. But
I would like to ask a question to all of you: How many of you pray every day to the
Holy Spirit? Eh, a few of you I bet, eh! Well, a few, few, a few, but we realise this
wish of Jesus, pray every day for the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to Jesus
think of Mary who "kept all these things and pondered them in her heart" (Lk 2,19.51).
The reception of the words and the truths of faith so that they become life, is realized
and grows under the action of the Holy Spirit. In this sense, we must learn from Mary,
reliving her "yes", her total availability to receive the Son of God in her life,
and who from that moment was transformed. Through the Holy Spirit, the Father and
the Son come to dwell in us: do we live in God and of God, is our life really animated
by God? How many things do I put before God?
Dear brothers and sisters, we
need to let ourselves be imbued with the light of the Holy Spirit, so that He introduces
us into the Truth of God, who is the only Lord of our lives. In this Year of Faith
let us ask ourselves if we have actually taken a few steps to get to know Christ and
the truths of faith more, by reading and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the
Catechism, steadily approaching the Sacraments. But at the same time let us ask ourselves
what steps we are taking so that the faith directs our whole existence. Do not be
a ‘part-time” Christian, at certain moments, in certain circumstances, in certain
choices, be Christian at all times! The truth of Christ, that the Holy Spirit teaches
us and gives us, always and forever involves our daily lives. Let us invoke him more
often, to guide us on the path of Christ's disciples.
Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Creed, we have been considering the
person and work of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus calls “the Spirit of Truth” (cf. Jn
16:13). In an age skeptical of truth, we believe not only that truth exists, but
that it is found through faith in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. The Holy
Spirit brings us to Jesus; he guides the whole Church into the fullness of truth.
As the “Paraclete”, the Helper sent by the Risen Lord, he reminds us of Christ’s words
and convinces us of their saving truth. As the source of our new life in Christ,
he awakens in our hearts that supernatural “sense of the faith” by which we hold fast
to God’s word, come to a deeper understanding of its meaning, and apply it in our
daily lives. Let us ask ourselves: am I truly open, like the Virgin Mary, to the
power of the Holy Spirit? Even now, with the Father and the Son, the Spirit dwells
in our hearts. Let us ask him to guide us into all truth and to help us grow in friendship
with Christ through daily prayer, reading of the Scriptures and the celebration of
I am pleased to greet the many English-speaking
pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland,
Sweden, Australia, India, Vietnam, Canada and the United States. As the Church prepares
to celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, I pray that his gifts of
wisdom, joy and peace will accompany you and your families along the path of authentic
Christian discipleship. God bless you all!