Vocation Advice from Pope Francis: Do Not Resist Holy Spirit

Paul Keggington

April 17, 2013

Franciscan Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora translates a recent article of Pope Francis entitled: Do Not Resist the Holy Spirit. Click here for original document. We invite you to consider our May 17-19, 2013 Vocation Discernment Retreat.

The Holy Spirit urges individuals and the Church herself to move ahead, but we resist the Holy Spirit and we do not want to change.  This is what Pope Francis affirmed this morning(15 April) at the Chapel of Casa Santa Marta . . .

Franciscan-Sister-Elena-and-Sister-Elaine-assist-others St. Stephen, proclaiming the resurrection, warns the people about to stone him with strong words:  “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit.” (Acts 7. 51) Taking this as his point of departure, Pope Francis said that we today still resist the Holy Spirit in the same way.

“To say it clearly, the Holy Spirit bothers us because the Holy Spirit urges us to walk, pushes the Church forward.  We, however, prefer to be like St. Peter at the Transfiguration: “How good it is to be here . . . all together . . . ”  as long as we are not inconvenienced.

Year-of-Faith-calls-us-to-personal-prayerWe want the Holy Spirit to doze off; we want to tame the Holy Spirit.  This will never work because the Holy Spirit is God; he is that wind that comes and goes without us knowing from where.  The Holy Spirit is the force and the power of God that gives us the consolation and the strength to move ahead; to MOVE AHEAD!!  And this urging us to “move ahead” bothers us.  Our comfort/convenience seems better to us.

Today, it seems that we are all content with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  But it is not true.  The temptation to oppose the Holy Spirit exists even today.  For example, let’s think of Vatican II.  The second Vatican Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit . . . But after 50 years, have we done all that the Holy Spirit asked us to do at Vatican II, in that continuity that is the growth of the Church that the Council represents?  No.  We are happy to celebrate this anniversary, as long as it does not inconvenience us.  And even more, there are those who wish to move backward.  This is called “being stiff-necked”; this is called wanting to domesticate the Holy Spirit; this is being foolish and slow of heart.

Even in our personal lives, the Holy Spirit urges us to undertake a more Evangelical way of life, and we resist him.  Do not resist the Holy Spirit!!  It is the Spirit who makes us free with the same freedom Jesus himself lived; the freedom that makes us children of God!  Do not resist the Holy Spirit! This is the grace that I wish for each of us to ask of the Lord: docility to the Holy Spirit, to that Spirit who comes to us and who urges us to progress on the road of sanctity, that beautiful sanctity that belongs to the Church!  May each of us receive the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit!”

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