Father Stefan reflects Pope Francis, ‘Joy of the Gospel’ No to a sterile pessimism

Pope Francis writes, “The of the Gospel is such that it cannot be taken away from us by anyone or anything. (Jn 16:22) The evils of our world  – and those of the Church- must not be excuses for diminishing our commitment and our fervor. Let us look upon them as challenges which can help us grow. With the eyes of faith, we can see the light which the Holy Spirit always radiates in the midst of darkness, never forgetting that ‘where sin increased, grace has abounded all the more.(Rom 5:20) In this sense, we can once again listen to the words of Blessed John XXIII on the memorable day of Oct 11, 1962: “…We feel that we must disagree with the prophets of doom who are always forecasting disaster, as though the end of the world were at hand. In our times, divine Providence is leading us to a new new order of human relations, which, by human efforts and even beyond all expectations, are directed to the fullness of God’s superior and inscrutable designs, in which everything, even human setbacks leads to the greeter good of the Church…No one can go off to battle unless he is fully convinced of victory beforehand. If we start without confidence, we have already lost half of the battle and we bury our talents.”

A Christian is a person of Hope. Jesus says, “He who is in you is greater than he who in the world.” Remember you have the Holy Spirit in You. Cardinal Ratzinger in his book, ‘New Outpouring of the Spirit’, wrote, “I then came into contact with the reality of the Charismatic Renewal. in those years I had close contact with a professor in Paderborn, Heribert Muhlen, who was a great enthusiast of this movement, since he himself had rediscovered the joy of priesthood in it. Thus I had the joy and the grace, I would say, of seeing young Christians touched by the power of the Holy Spirit, of seeing young  Christians touched by the power of the Holy Spirit, of seeing that in a troublesome time for the Church, at a moment when people were speaking of a ‘winter in the Church’, the Holy Spirit was creating a new springtime and that joy of being Christian was being reawakened in young people, the joy of being Catholic, of living in the Church, the living Body of Christ, the people of God on pilgrimage.”

The Holy Spirit is the Soul of the Church. We need the new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We need to be Baptized in the Holy Spirit. I pray for a day, when all priests will be gather with their bishop in the cathedral on Pentecost to pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus says, “You will receive power from on high when the Holy Spirit come upon you and you will be my witness in Jerusalem and in all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.”(Act 1:8) The Acts of the Apostles is the life of the Church. You want to see what the Lord is doing in His Church reread the ‘Acts of the Apostles.’

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