Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Pentecost! Fifty Days Later! Extra alleluias are put in reserve. Eastertime has pushed us into the Ordinary Time.

If that seems like it means “Okay, now we can take it easy,” think again.

Listen to some of the words of Pope Francis I took from his homily for Pentecost 2018. I am embarrassed to tell you that I didn’t read them last year, and I suspect many of you might not have either.

In any case, Pope Francis surely manages to inspire me with his thoughts and I hope you have the same experience.

Christians, by reason of the Spirit’s presence within them, enjoy not only new life but also a new relationship to God, that of adopted children and heirs through Christ, whose sufferings and glory they share.

The Holy Spirit changes hearts. Jesus had told his disciples: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). That is exactly what happened. ... Timid while Jesus was still among them, they are bold when he is gone, because the Spirit changed their hearts.

The Spirit frees hearts chained by fear... The change that the Spirit brings is different. 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.

The Spirit keeps our hearts young – a renewed youth. Youth, for all our attempts to prolong it, sooner or later fades away; the Spirit, instead, prevents the only kind of aging that is unhealthy: namely, growing old within. How does he do this? By renewing our hearts, by pardoning sinners. Here is the great change: from guilty he makes us righteous and thus changes everything. From slaves of sin we become free, from servants we become beloved children, from worthless worthy, from disillusioned filled with hope. By the working of the Holy Spirit, joy is reborn and peace blossoms in our hearts.

The one who reveals God also opens our hearts to our brothers and sisters. He sends us, he makes us witnesses, and so he pours out on us – again in the words of Paul – love, kindness, generosity and gentleness. Only in the Consoler Spirit do we speak words of life and truly encourage others. Those who live by the Spirit live in this constant spiritual tension: they find themselves pulled both towards God and towards the world.

Let us ask him to make us live in exactly that way. Holy Spirit, violent wind of God, blow upon us, blow into our hearts and make us breathe forth the tenderness of the Father! Blow upon the Church and impel her to the ends of the earth, so that, brought by you, she may bring nothing other than you. Blow upon our world the soothing warmth of peace and the refreshing cool of hope. Come Holy Spirit, change us within and renew the face of the earth. Amen.

I added the underlining up top. Pope Francis speaks of the only kind of aging that is unhealthy is ‘growing old within.’

I know a lot of you who have not and that’s inspiring to me. Let’s keep running the race with class!    

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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