Sunday, June 9, 2019


Pope at Mass: the Holy Spirit brings harmony within us and among us

Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass on the feast of Pentecost lamenting divisions and urging believers to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit who brings harmony and unity.

By Linda Bordoni

Celebrating Mass on the solemnity of Pentecost in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis urged the faithful to implore the gift of the Spirit that makes us artisans of concord, sowers of goodness, apostles of hope.

Reflecting on the liturgy of the day, the Pope explained that thanks to the Holy Spirit, the disciples’ worries disappeared.

Rejuvenated by the Spirit, he said, their lives were changed, and he pointed out that “far from being an abstract reality: he is the Person who is most concrete and close, the one who changes our lives”.
“How does he do this?” the Pope asked: “The Holy Spirit did not make things easier for them,” he said, “he didn’t work spectacular miracles, he didn’t take away their difficulties and their opponents.  The Spirit brought into the lives of the disciples a harmony that had been lacking, his own harmony, for he is harmony”.


The Pope said that “seeing the Risen Lord is not enough, unless we welcome him into our hearts.”
He explained that it is the Spirit who makes Jesus live within us, raising us up from within.
“That is why when Jesus appears to his disciples, he repeats the words, ‘Peace be with you!’, and bestows the Spirit,” he said.
Peace, Pope Francis explained, is not a matter of resolving outward problems, it’s about receiving the Holy Spirit.

Only filled with the Spirit, he said, our hearts can be peaceful and we can achieve a harmony so profound that it can “even turn persecutions into blessings”.

“Resolving momentary problems will not bring peace.  What makes a difference is the peace of Jesus, the harmony of the Spirit,” he said.

Spirit of peace

Pope Francis said that at today’s frenzied pace of life, harmony seems swept aside and often we look for quick fixes.
But more than anything else, he said, we need the Spirit.

“The Spirit is peace in the midst of restlessness, confidence in the midst of discouragement, joy in sadness, youth in aging, courage in the hour of trial,” he said.
Without the Spirit, the Pope continued, our Christian life unravels, lacking the love that brings everything together.

“Without the Spirit, Jesus remains a personage from the past; with the Spirit, he is a person alive in our own time.  Without the Spirit, Scripture is a dead letter; with the Spirit it is a word of life.  A Christianity without the Spirit is joyless moralism; with the Spirit, it is life,” he said.
The Pope noted that the Holy Spirit does not bring only harmony within us but also among us, distributing the great variety of the Church’s qualities and gifts creatively.

And on the basis of this variety, he continued, the Spirit builds unity: “From the beginning of creation, he has done this.  Because he is a specialist in changing chaos into cosmos, in creating harmony.”

Spirit of unity

Underscoring the fact that lack of harmony in today’s world has led to stark divisions, the Pope said “There are those who have too much and those who have nothing, those who want to live to a hundred and those who cannot even be born”.

He said that in “the age of the computer, distances are increasing: the more we use the social media, the less social we are becoming”.

We need the Spirit of unity, Pope Francis said, to regenerate us as Church, as God’s People and as a human family.

He decried the temptation to “cling to our little group”, to resist all contamination.
“The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, brings together those who were distant, unites those far off, brings home those who were scattered.  He blends different tonalities in a single harmony, because before all else he sees goodness,” he said.

The Pope continued saying “He looks at individuals before looking at their mistakes, at persons before their actions” and explained that the Spirit shapes the Church and the world as a place of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters.

Those who live by the Spirit, he said, “bring peace where there is discord, concord where there is conflict.  Those who are spiritual repay evil with good.  They respond to arrogance with meekness, to malice with goodness, to shouting with silence, to gossip with prayer, to defeatism with encouragement”.

Pope Francis concluded his homily with the invitation to adopt the Spirit’s way of seeing things: “Then everything changes: with the Spirit, the Church is the holy People of God, mission is the spread of joy, as others become our brothers and sisters, all loved by the same Father”.

Without the Spirit the Church is an organization

Without the Spirit, he warned,  “the Church becomes an organization, her mission becomes propaganda, her communion an exertion”.

“Let us daily implore the gift of the Spirit,” he said: “Holy Spirit, harmony of God, you who turn fear into trust and self-centredness into self-gift, come to us. (…)  Make us artisans of concord, sowers of goodness, apostles of hope.”


Anonymous said...

Strange to read that from a Pope who is constantly putting one group against another and himself against everyone. But I’m just a narrow-minded rigid neo heretic who’s an American engaged in an ecumenism of hate, so what do I know?

John Nolan said...

One of the greatest feasts of the Church's year and PF celebrates it in Italian, a provincial modern language. I would not cross the road to attend such a service.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Just another example of PF's tone deafness.

Anonymous said...

Mercifully, Good would cross the road to attend to you, John. We serve a great God, no?

JDJ said...

And then there is this published yesterday from Archbishop Carlo Maria ViganĂ²; ViganĂ² corresponded by email with The Washington Post over two months, writing 8,000 words in response to nearly 40 questions. Among his comments:

“it is immensely sad" that the pope was "blatantly lying to the whole world to cover up his wicked deeds." ... and this:

He said a "gay mafia" among bishops, intent on protecting themselves, was "sabotaging all efforts at reform."

Last year we experienced a Summer of shock and shame. This year we are experiencing a Summer of sorrow and sadness. And we in the pews continue to pray, hope, and try to remain faithful.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous, to quote Chesterton:

'For your god or dream or devil,
You must answer; not to me.'

Had I been in Rome yesterday I would have attended Mass at SS Trinita dei Pellegrini. What is your point, except to indulge in a sanctimoniousness which fits ill with your quite frankly nasty personality?

Anonymous said...

I would have attended the Latin Novus Ordo Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore if I were at Rome, best choir in the eternal city.

Anonymous said...

I take comfort in knowing that in the future some graduate student will write his or her master's thesis attempting to find a rationale behind Pope Francis' choice between Mass in Latin versus Mass in Italian on a given occasion. Personally, I think that he flips a coin.

Anonymous said...

"My" nasty personality?

You make derisive comments about language, but you'll claim it is a fact with copious amounts of historical evidence and that all the best linguists agree with.

You express your distaste for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass not celebrated according to your personal preferences, and you'll trumpet your unwillingness, nay, your obstinate unwillingness to participate in the Mass.

But I am the one with a "nasty' personality?

My point is to remind you that you are not the person you think you are.

JDJ said...

Anon 3:34, probably none of us are who we think we are, including you. God alone is the best judge of that, wouldn’t you agree?

Anonymous said...

JDJ, no, I would not agree. Maybe you are uncertain or confused about who you are. I'm not. God knows me better than I am able to know myself, to be sure. But we can and should certainly know ourselves to the best of our ability. We have that capacity which is one of our God given gifts.

Francis said...

Ahhhhhh, that 'Spirit of Unity' warms my heart.

JDJ said...

Yes indeed, Francis.
I’m not “uncertain or confused” thinking about who I am. But I’m pretty certain that other people often see me differently than I see myself. And I’m sure that God, who sees all, sees me far more clearly than I see myself, and certainly more clearly than I see others.
Pride (the root of all sin) tells me one thing, but humility (the true mark of holiness), when I can sense and practice it, tells me far more...

John Nolan said...

'Personal preferences' are indeed a feature of the Novus Ordo Mass but are not much in evidence in the traditional Roman Rite. Which is why I prefer the latter, which might appear paradoxical, but on closer examination is anything but.

I would ask Anonymous, who does not know me and lacks the basic honesty to post under his own name, to provide evidence that I have an 'obstinate unwillingness to participate in the Mass.' What was I doing last Sunday when I sang the Ordinary and the Propers for Pentecost at Holy Trinity, Hethe, Oxon? A little village church, but the cantor for our schola sings at Covent Garden.

Rather than cross the road, I drove 14 miles to get there.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

I am sure you have surmised by now that you are dealing with a petty little man, the Troll Anonymous

TJM said...

This article is for the benefit of the soul of the fake catholic priest who posts here under his own name and as Anonymous:

Read it and then repent for voting for the Abortion Party (formerly the Democratic Party). These priests need to be purged from the clergy as much as the sexual abusing priests

Anonymous said...

The LAST person ANYONE should take spiritual advice from is TJM.

TJM said...

Anonymous K - lol. Priests supporting Dems risk hell

TJM said...

Anonymous K,

Read Archbishop Chaput's statements and then report back. Hang your head in shame