Common Grounds


God's Spirit and the Church Say: "Come!"

June 07, 2020

Living Words from John Paul II

Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen

 

Published Sunday, 07 June 2020

God's Spirit and the Church Say:

Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love.

 

Man can indeed exclude God from the scope of his life. But this does not happen without dire consequences for humankind, human dignity. You know it well: alienation from God carries with it the loss of those moral values ​​that are the basis and foundation of coexistence. A pseudo-culture replaces the culture of God that triggers narcissism.

 

The forgetfulness of God, the absence of moral values ​​of which only He can be the foundation, are also at the root of economic systems that forget the dignity of the person and the moral norm, putting profit as a priority objective and sole inspiring criterion of their programs. This underlying reality is no stranger to the painful economic-social phenomena that affects so many families, such as unemployment. Many of you know from painful experience what it means to be deprived of honest work.1

 

 

The breath of the divine life, the Holy Spirit, in its purest and most traditional manner, expresses itself and makes itself felt in prayer. It is a beautiful and salutary thought that, wherever people are praying in the world, the Holy Spirit is the living breath of prayer. The Holy Spirit "breathes" prayer in the heart of men and women in all the endless range of the most varied situations and conditions, sometimes favorable and sometimes unfavorable to the spiritual and religious life.

 

Many times, through the influence of the Spirit, prayer rises from the human heart despite prohibitions and persecutions and even official proclamations regarding the non-religious or even atheistic character of public life. Prayer always remains the voice of all those who have no voice-and in this voice; there still echoes that "loud cry" attributed to Christ by the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrew 5:7). Prayer is also the revelation of that abyss, which is the heart of humankind: a depth that comes from God and which only God can fill, precisely with the Holy Spirit. We read in Luke: "If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him" (Luke 11: 13).

 

The Holy Spirit is the gift that comes into man's heart together with prayer. In prayer, He manifests Himself as the gift that "helps us in our weakness." St. Paul in the Letter to the Romans develops this magnificent thought: "For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words" (Romans 8: 26). Therefore, the Holy Spirit not only enables us to pray but guides us "from within" in prayer: he is present in our prayer and gives it a divine dimension (Origen, De Oratione, 2: PG 11, p. 419-423) Thus, "He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8: 27). Prayer through the power of the Holy Spirit becomes the ever more mature expression of the new man, who, through this prayer, participates in the divine life. 

 

The rapid progress in a civilization characterized by technology and science threatens humanity despite the goals attained. In the face of this danger, man's spiritual decadence, individuals and whole communities, guided by an inner sense of faith, are seeking the strength to raise humankind, to save him from himself and his errors and mistakes. And, thus, they are discovering prayer, in which the "Spirit who helps us in our weakness" manifests himself. In our times, the Holy Spirit comes to the many who are returning to prayer.

 

While it is a historical fact that the Body of Christ, the Church comes forth from the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost, in a certain sense, she has never left it. Spiritually the event of Pentecost is forever. The Church is the Upper Room.2

 

God’s Spirit says to the Church, “Come!”

 

The Church says to God’s Spirit, “Come!”

 

God’s Spirit and the Church say, “Come!”

 

 

Excerpted from:

 

 

1 CELEBRACIÓN EUCARÍSTICA EN EL SANTUARIO 
DE NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA CINTA

 

HOMILÍA DEL SANTO PADRE JUAN PABLO II

 

Huelva, lunes 14 de junio de 1993

 

http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/es/homilies/1993/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_19930614_cinta-huelva.html

 

 

2 Ioannes Paulus PP. II

 

DOMINUM ET VIVIFICANTEM

 

On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World

 

Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, on May 18, the Solemnity of Pentecost, in the year 1986, the eighth of my Pontificate.

 

http://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_18051986_dominum-et-vivificantem.html



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