Pope Francis delivers his homily in Santa Marta


'Open Your Heart,' Pope Suggests at Morning Mass

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Calls on Faithful to Make Sure They Try to Listen Openly to Holy Spirit

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Open your hearts…

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this recommendation during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, saying only if we do so, will we be able to hear the Holy Spirit and therefore witness Christ.

Reflecting on Jesus’ words to His disciples at the Last Supper, namely that ‘I will not leave you orphans; I will send you an advocate, the Holy Spirit, to defend you before the Father,’ Francis focused his homily on the Holy Spirit.
Francis reminded that the Paraclete “accompanies us’ and teaches us to say: “Jesus is the Lord.”
The Spirit, Jesus’ gift, Francis highlighted, can be seen as the ‘traveling companion’ of the Church. Only He, the Pope pointed out, “teaches us to say, ‘Jesus is the Lord.’”
“Without the Holy Spirit, none of us is able to say it, to perceive it, to live it. Jesus, in other places in this long discourse, said of Him [the Holy Spirit]: ‘He will lead you into all truth,’ He will accompany you towards the full truth. ‘He will bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you; He will teach you all things.’
“The Holy Spirit,” he stressed, “is the traveling companion of every Christian, and also the traveling companion of the Church. And this is the gift that Jesus gives us.”
Don’t Close Him Out
Francis warned that if we do not open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, He cannot get in.
“The Holy Spirit,” he continued, is “a gift, the great gift of Jesus, Who does not lead us astray.”
“The Church,” the Jesuit Pope reminded, “calls the Spirit ‘the sweet guest of the heart’: He is there. But He cannot enter a closed heart. ‘Ah, but where can one buy the keys to open the heart?’ No! That too is a gift. It is a gift of God: ‘Lord, open my heart so that the Spirit can enter it, and I can understand that Jesus is the Lord.’”
A prayer we should say every day, the Pope suggested, is: “Lord, open my heart so that I can understand what You have taught us; so that I can remember Your words; so that I can follow Your words; so that I can come to the fullness of the truth.”
Hearts Truly Open
The Pope called on those present to discern whether their hearts are truly open to the Holy Spirit.
The readings of the Mass, the Pope observed, suggest two questions we can ask ourselves: “The first: Do I ask the Lord for the grace that my heart might be opened? … The second question: Do I seek to hear the Holy Spirit, His inspirations, the things He tells my heart that I might advance in the Christian life, and that I too might bear witness that Jesus is the Lord?”
Pope Francis concluded, saying, let us think about these two things today: “Is my heart open? Do I make an effort to listen to the Holy Spirit, to what He tells me? And so we advance in the Christian life, and we too bear witness to Jesus Christ.”

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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