Pope Francis: “We must rouse Christ in our hearts”

“The only thing we can do in terrible moments: wake up Christ who is within us, but sleeps like [he did] in the boat. only then will we be able to contemplate things with his eyes for He sees beyond the storm,” he affirmed.

Vatican City (10/11/2021 11:46 AM, Gaudium Press) During the General Audience on Wednesday, held in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis concluded the cycle of catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians, highlighting that in these writings, the Apostle Paul “has spoken to us as an evangeliser, as a theologian and as a pastor.

St. Paul the Apostle makes a call to freedom

The Holy Father also pointed out that St. Paul was a true theologian who contemplated the mystery of Christ and transmitted it with his creative intelligence. And he was also capable of exercising his pastoral mission towards a lost and confused community. He did this with different methods: from time to time he used irony, firmness, gentleness… He revealed his own authority as an apostle, but at the same time he did not hide the weaknesses of his character.”

Convinced that he had received a call to which only he could respond, the Apostle to the Gentiles tried to explain to the Galatians that they too were called to this freedom. And aware of the risks that this concept of freedom brought, he never minimised the consequences. Rather, Paul placed freedom in love’s shadow and based its consistent exercise on the service of charity. This entire vision was set within the panorama of a life according to the Holy Spirit

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In terrible times we must awaken Christ who is within us

Francis concludes his catechesis by suggesting a twofold attitude. “On the one hand, the Apostle’s teaching generates enthusiasm in us; we feel drawn to follow immediately the way of freedom, to “walk according to the Spirit”. Walking according to the Spirit always makes us free. On the other hand, we are aware of our limitations because we are daily in touch with how difficult it is to be docile to the Spirit, to surrender to his beneficial action. Then tiredness can set it that dampens enthusiasm. We feel discouraged, weak, sometimes marginalised with respect to a worldly life-style.”

Then he advises that in times of difficulty we must do as the apostles did, who woke up Jesus during the storm“This is the only thing we can do in terrible moments: wake up Christ who is within us, but sleeps like [he did] in the boat. It is exactly like this. We must rouse Christ in our hearts and only then will we be able to contemplate things with his eyes for He sees beyond the storm. Through that serene gaze, we can see a panorama that is not even conceivable on our own.

Temptation to turn back

The Pontiff affirmed that although there is always the temptation to turn back, the Apostle reminds us that “we cannot let ourselves tire when it comes to doing good. We must trust that the Spirit always comes to assist us in our weakness and grants us the support we need.

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The prayer to the Holy Spirit is spontaneous: it needs to come from your heart. In difficult moments, you need to ask: “Holy Spirit, come”. The key word is this: come. Come. But you need to say it yourself in your own words. Come, because I find myself in difficulty. Come, because I am in the dark. Come, because I don’t know what to do. Come, because I am about to fall. Come. Come. This is the Holy Spirit’s word – how to call upon the Spirit. Let us learn to invoke the Holy Spirit often. he noted.

And he concluded by indicating the following prayer to be said frequently: Come, Holy Spirit. And with the presence of the Spirit, we will protect our freedom. We are free, free Christians, not attached to the past in the bad sense of the word, not chained to practices. Christian freedom is what makes us grow. This prayer will help us walk in the Spirit, in freedom and in joy because when the Holy Spirit comes, joy, true joy comes. (EPC)

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

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