Pope Francis: Prayer opens the door to freedom through the Holy Spirit

Vatican City, Apr 20, 2020 / 03:40 am (CNA).- Freedom is found in the Holy Spirit who provides the strength to fulfill God's will, Pope Francis said in his Monday morning Mass homily.

“Prayer is what opens the door to the Holy Spirit and gives us this freedom, this boldness, this courage of the Holy Spirit,” Pope Francis said in his homily April 20.

“May the Lord help us to always be open to the Holy Spirit because it will carry us forward in our life of service to the Lord,” the pope said.

Speaking from the chapel in his Vatican City residence, Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that the early Christians were guided by the Holy Spirit, who provided them strength to pray with courage and boldness.

“Being a Christian is not just fulfilling the Commandments. They must be done, this is true, but if you stop there, you are not a good Christian. To be a good Christian is to let the Holy Spirit enter into you and take you, take you where he wants,” Pope Francis said according to a transcript by Vatican News.

The pope pointed to the Gospel account of an encounter between Nicodemus, a pharisee, and Jesus in which the pharisee asked: “How can a man once grown old be born again?”

To which Jesus replies in chapter three of the Gospel of John: “You must be born from above. The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Pope Francis said: “The definition of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives here is interesting … unconstrained. A person who gets carried from both sides by the Holy Spirit: this is the freedom of the Spirit. And a person who does this is docile, and here we talk about docility to the Holy Spirit.”

“In our Christian life many times we stop like Nicodemus … we do not know what step to take, we do not know how to do it or we do not have faith in God to take this step and let the Spirit enter,” he said. “To be born again is to let the Spirit enter us.”

“With this freedom of the Holy Spirit you will never know where you will end up,” Francis said.

At the beginning of his morning Mass, Pope Francis prayed for men and women with a political calling who must make decisions during the coronavirus pandemic. He prayed that political parties in different countries may “seek together the good of the country and not the good of their party.”

“Politics is a high form of charity,” Pope Francis said.

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  1. We read from the Holy Father: “Being a Christian is not just fulfilling the COMMANDMENTS. They must be done, this is true, but if you stop there, you are not a good Christian. To be a good Christian is to let the HOLY SPIRIT enter into you and take you, take you where he wants” (caps added).

    The wisdom of the perennial Church, but a tough UNITY especially in epochal times—the irreducible Commandments no less than the indwelling Holy Spirit, and vice versa. . .

    On this unity, and with an eye to the perplexed Nicodemus, also mentioned by Pope Francis, the historian Friedrich Heer notices in history the conflicted path he calls “NICODEMISM.” In his Intellectual History of Europe (1953), Heer defines Nicodemism as: “the false harmonizing of opposites.”

    Heer finds this ambivalence in Islam: “the great thinkers of Islam were masters of Nicodemism; and in this too they set an example to western Europe.” [….] e.g., during the Inquisition in later Italy, for example, ideas “tended to burrow deeper and deeper under AMBIGUOUS symbols, hiding their secret [cultic] wisdom behind an orthodox façade.”

    Near the same time, Maximos the Confessor (in Russia) found that “he had been introduced into the most secret meanings of the Holy Scriptures,” while ALSO trying to maneuver intensely nationalistic Russia back toward Constantinople. And, in the 16th-century West, CAMOUFLAGED protests against corruption in all of the ruling classes exploded in a “thousand masks” of art and literature.
    Heer points especially toward the pattern of back-and-forth forced conversions (Catholic/ Lutheran/ Calvinist) baked into the peace of Westphalia (1648)—the musical-chairs of local princes who now determined the religion of their own domains (cuius regio, eius religio). Of this boiling aftermath, Heer presciently writes—“Violence was done to the German conscience from which it has not yet recovered [!]”

    Not yet recovered?. . . Writes Heer, the seedbed for the 20th-century’s brutally competing ideologies from the “undergound.” And, now Germania’s conflicted and “binding synodal path”—-a church within the Church (?)—-the historically familiar “false harmonizing of opposites.”

  2. Politicians are trying their best. Armed with fearless minds and with confidence resting in their wrists, they are spending days and nights, visualizing how best they can save lives, promote happiness, and look after the well being of the Planet.

  3. Like the Samaritin woman at the well to which Jesus said, God is Spirit and truth and those who worship him must worship him In Spirit and truth; we too are called to do the same.We should be willing to yield to the Holy Spirit, to allow it to possess us..The Holy Spirit can enable us to live the new commandment which says love one another as I have loved you.

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