VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Holy Spirit is more than a pretty dove; it is an integral part of the Trinity and deserves a prime place in people’s lives, Pope Francis said.
Many Christians say they get by with God the Father by praying the “Our Father” and with Jesus by receiving Communion, but that they aren’t quite sure who the Holy Spirit is, he said during a morning Mass homily.
People who are aware of the Holy Spirit, he said, may know him only superficially, identifying him as “the dove, the one who offers the seven gifts,” of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord.
Many Christians say they get by with God the Father by praying the “Our Father” and with Jesus by receiving Communion, but that they aren’t quite sure who the Holy Spirit is, Pope Francis said during a morning Mass homily.
“The poor Holy Spirit is always in last place and doesn’t find a prime place in our life,” the pope said May 13 during Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
During the Mass, attended by Vatican Radio employees and officials at the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, including its president Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, the pope said the Holy Spirit is “God active in us,” the one who “wakes up our memory.”
Being able to recall the faith one inherited and remembering one’s sinful nature and how Jesus came into one’s life are essential parts of being a Christian, he said, according to Vatican Radio.
When someone is “a bit vain and believes himself to be a bit like a Nobel Prize laureate of holiness, memory does us good, too,” he said.
“A Christian without a memory is not a real Christian; it is a man or a woman who is held prisoner by trends,” a slave to the spur of the moment, he said.
Christians without memory of their sinful roots and God’s promise are engaged in “idolatry,” worshipping a god who has no direction and doesn’t know how to lead the way, he said.
“Our God leads the way with us, mingles with us, walks with us, saves us, shapes history with us,” he said.
The Holy Spirit jogs people’s memory, reminding them where they came from and what conditions they were in before Jesus came to save them, he said.
He said the Holy Spirit says, “Remember where I found you: the last of the flock, you were straggling behind.”
“Memory is a great grace” that renders life more fruitful, he said.
He called on Christians to pray for this grace so they won’t forget the headway they’ve made, the graces received in their lives, and “the forgiveness of their sins, that they were slaves and the Lord set them free.”
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103