Francis: We Must Submit to the Holy Spirit

Pope at Daily Mass Encourages Individuals, Whole Church

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Francis says there is still much of the Second Vatican Council awaiting to be assimilated because there is a desire to «tame the Holy Spirit.»

The Pope said this Tuesday during his homily at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, as Vatican Radio reported.

The Pontiff’s reflections were drawn from the First Reading, which related Stephen’s accusation that his persecutors were resisting the Holy Spirit.

«The Holy Spirit upsets us because it moves us, it makes us walk, it pushes the Church forward,» Francis said.

He warned that we want «to calm down the Holy Spirit, we want to tame it and this is wrong.” 

«That’s because the Holy Spirit is the strength of God, it’s what gives us the strength to go forward” but many find this upsetting and prefer the comfort of the familiar,» Francis reflected.

The Pope said there is still a temptation to resist the Holy Spirit, even as adoration of the Third Person of the Trinity has increased.

He suggested one example of this temptation to resist the Spirit is the incomplete reception of Vatican II, a council which was «a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit.»

Fifty years later, “have we done everything the Holy Spirit was asking us to do during the Council,” he asked. 

The answer is “no,” said Pope Francis. “We celebrate this anniversary, we put up a monument but we don’t want it to upset us. We don’t want to change and what’s more there are those who wish to turn the clock back.” This, he went on, “is called stubbornness and wanting to tame the Holy Spirit.”

The Pope said the same thing happens in our personal lives. “The Spirit pushes us to take a more evangelical path but we resist this.” 

«Submit to the Holy Spirit,” he exhorted, “which comes from within us and makes go forward along the path of holiness.”


In today’s homily, Francis spoke about evangelization, as L’Osservatore Romano reported.

Already known for his use of imagery in preaching, the Pope offered an image this morning of a Church as a «babysitter.»

The Church cannot be merely “a babysitter who takes care of the child just to get him to sleep.» That would make her a «slumbering Church,» he said.

Instead, the members of the Church, the baptized, must evangelize.

«When we do this the Church becomes a mother who generates children,» he said, capable of bring Christ to the world. 

«Let us ask the Lord,” he concluded, “for the grace to become baptized persons who are brave and sure that the Holy Spirit who is in us, received at baptism, always moves us to proclaim Jesus Christ with our life, our testimony and even with our words.»

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