(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged Christians to engage with the Holy Spirit, and to open their hearts to the Spirit before taking important decisions.
Speaking during the homily at morning Mass on Monday at the Casa Santa Marta, the Pope explained it is the Holy Spirit, which moves our hearts, inspires us and triggers emotions,.
Looking ahead to Pentecost Sunday, the Pope said the Church is asking for prayers that the Holy Spirit may come into our hearts, into our parishes and into our communities.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
Drawing inspiration from the first reading of the day which, he said, could be called “the Pentecost of Ephesus” he explained that although the community in Ephesus had received the faith, it didn’t even know that the Holy Spirit existed.
“They were good people, people of faith” the Pope said, but they were not aware of this gift of the Father: “When Paul laid his hands on them the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues”.
The Holy Spirit moves the heart
The Holy Spirit, the Pope said, moves hearts as we can read in the Gospels that tell of many people who are moved to approach Jesus, like Nicodemus, like the woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, like the Samaritan, like the sinner. Thus the Pope invited the faithful to ask themselves: ‘what place does the Holy Spirit have in my life?’.
"Am I able to hear it? Am I able to ask for inspiration before taking a decision or doing something? Or is my heart quiet, lacking in emotion and turmoil?” he said.
And he commented on the fact that “should an ECG be performed on some hearts, the result would be a flat line – totally lacking in emotion”.
He said that even in the Gospels there are “still” hearts: “we think of the doctors of the law, they believed in God, they knew all the commandments, but their hearts were closed, they were “still”, they were not disturbed”.
Let yourself be engaged by the Holy Spirit
The Pope exhorted the faithful to let themselves be “disturbed,” that is to ask the Holy Spirit to help them discern and not to have an “ideological faith”:
"Let yourself be disturbed by the Holy Spirit: 'Eh, I felt this… But Father, isn’t that being sentimental?' - 'No, it may be, but no. If you're on the right track, you're not being sentimental.’' You must be able to feel the urge to go and to visit that sick person or change your life…'” he said.
The Pope said the Holy Spirit is the master of discernment. A person who does not have this kind of turmoil in his or her heart does not discern what is happening; he or she “is a person who has a cold faith, an ideological faith”.
Ask yourself about your relationship with the Holy Spirit
Pope Francis said the “drama” of the doctors of the law who were angry with Jesus derived from the fact that their hearts were closed to the Holy Spirit.
“Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you on the path of life and of everyday life. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace to distinguish good from less good, because it is easy to distinguish good from evil” he said.
The Pope concluded urging the faithful to look into their hearts and open them to the Holy Spirit.
In the Revelation, the Pope said, the Apostle John begins by inviting the "Seven Churches" - the seven dioceses of that time - to listen to the Holy Spirit:
“Let us too ask for the grace of being able to hear what the Spirit says to our Church, to our community, to our parish, to our family, and for the grace to learn the language with which to understand” he said.