No cold or lukewarm hearts ….
Pope Francis warned the faithful in St. Peter’s Square against this today at noon, during his Sunday Angelus address.
Reflecting on today’s reading from the Gospel of Luke, which presents three images of fire, baptism, and division, the Pope spoke on fire: the fire of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit, he said, “is a creative force that purifies and renews, it burns away every human misery, all selfishness and every sin, and transforms us from within, regenerates and makes us capable of loving.”
“Jesus desires that the Holy Spirit may blaze like fire in our hearts, because it is only from the heart—pay attention to this—,” he said, “that the fire of divine love will flourish and advance the Kingdom of God.”
The Pope deviated from his script to remind those gathered that this ‘fire’ does not come from the head, but from the heart. “And for this reason, Jesus wishes that this fire enters into our hearts,” he said.
“To carry out Her mission in the world,” Francis said, “the Church needs the help of the Holy Spirit in order to not be deterred by fear and calculation, to not get used to walking within her set borders.”
The courage that the Holy Spirit kindles in us, he noted, “is like a fire that helps us overcome walls and barriers, making us creative and encouraging us to put ourselves in motion to even walk down unexplored or inconvenient roads, offering hope to those we meet.”
He stressed that the Holy Spirit is to transform us, making us full of understanding, and to have more open hearts and joyful faces.
“If the Church does not receive this fire of the Holy Spirit, or doesn’t let it enter into Herself, it becomes a cold or lukewarm Church, incapable of giving life, because it is made of cold or lukewarm Christians,” the Pope added off the cuff.
“It would do us good today to take five minutes and each of us ask ourselves: But how is my heart? Is it cold or lukewarm, or instead capable of receiving this fire? Let us take five minutes for this. It would do good for us all,” he said.
Before praying the Angelus, the Pope prayed for the Virgin Mary’s intercession and recalled that today marks the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe, martyr killed at Auschwitz. During Pope Francis’ Apostolic to Visit, July 27-31, he prayed in silence in the cell where the saint was sentenced to death, on the 65th anniversary of his being sentenced, July 29. Kolbe had accepted death to save the life of a father of a family.
After the midday prayer, Francis greeted the groups present, including young people who had traveled to Rome by foot or bicycle on pilgrimage.
Also as usual, the Holy Father wished all those present a good Sunday, lunch, and reminding them to pray for him.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full English Translation: https://zenit.org/articles/angelus-address-on-the-fire-of-the-holy-spirit/