Pope: Spirit Is "Wind in the Sails" for the Church

Says There’s No Church Without Pentecost, No Pentecost Without Mary

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Church constantly lives on the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a continuous cycle of «new pentecosts,» says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this reflection today before praying the midday Regina Caeli — the last of the year — with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

«The Church in fact lives constantly from the effusion of the Holy Spirit, without which she would exhaust her own powers, like a ship with sails and no wind,» he said. «Pentecost is renewed in a special way in certain powerful moments, whether this be at the local or the universal level, whether it be in small assemblies or in great convocations.»

The Holy Father noted some of those «powerful moments,» listing the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II’s meeting with new ecclesial movements in 1998.

«But the Church knows countless ‘pentecosts’ that vivify the local communities,» he reflected. «We think of the liturgies, particularly those experienced in special moments of the community’s life, in which the power of God is perceived in an evident way, infusing joy and enthusiasm in souls. We think of many other gatherings of prayer in which young people clearly feel the call of God to root their lives in his love, even consecrating themselves entirely to him.»

Mother’s role

Benedict XVI broadened his reflection with this affirmation: «There is no Church without Pentecost. And I would like to add: There is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary.»

He noted how the first Pentecost came precisely when Mary and the Apostles were gathered in the Upper Room.

«And this is how it always is, in every place and in every time,» the Pontiff affirmed. «I witnessed it a short time ago at Fatima. […] In our midst was Mary, the Mother of Jesus. This is the typical experience at the great Marian sanctuaries — Lourdes, Guadalupe, Pompeii, Loreto — or even in the smaller ones: 

«Wherever Christians gather in prayer with Mary, the Lord grants his Spirit.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-29346?l=english

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