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Pope Francis: ‘The Holy Spirit Changes Hearts’

‘He is the Divine Force that Changes the World’

Pope Francis spoke of the power of the Holy Spirit in his May 20, 2018, Pentecost homily at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“He is the divine force that changes the world,” the Pope reminded the congregation. “The Spirit enters into situations and transforms them. He changes hearts and he changes situations.”

Referring to the day’s readings from Acts and John, the Holy Father spoke of how fearful the disciples were – even after the resurrection. But they received the power of the Holy Spirit, which enabled them to carry out their mission to carry the word of God to the ends of the earth.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t change the world outside the Christian, but what is inside, according to Francis, noting that “no earthly attempt to change reality can ever completely satisfy the human heart”. And spirit keeps us young at heart.

“The change that the Spirit brings is different,” the Pope continued. “It does not revolutionize life around us but changes our hearts. It does not free us from the weight of our problems but liberates us within so that we can face them. It does not give us everything at once but makes us press on confidently, never growing weary of life.”

Francis encouraged listeners not to seek shelter from the Holy Spirit, but to embrace the Spirit’s power:

“The Spirit blows, but we lower our sails. And yet, how often have we seen him work wonders! Frequently, even in the bleakest of times, the Spirit has raised up the most outstanding holiness! Because he is the soul of the Church, who constantly enlivens her with renewed hope, fills her with joy, makes her fruitful, and causes new life to blossom.”

Full Text of the Pope’s Homily

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