Sixth Sunday of Easter - Year A
"The world cannot accept it, because it neither sees nor knows it"
Paul VI, Pope from 1963-1978
General Audience of 17/05/1972
"The world cannot accept it, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you"
“The Spirit blows where he wills,” said Jesus in his conversation with Nicodemus (Jn 3,8). Therefore, on a doctrinal and practical level, we are not able to draw up any exclusive norms concerning the Holy Spirit's interventions in people's lives. He can manifest himself under the most unrestricted and unexpected forms: “He plays on the surface of the earth” (Prv 8,31)... But for anyone who wants to seize the supernatural waves of the Holy Spirit there is one rule, one requirement that commonly stands out: the interior life. It is within the soul that the encounter with this inexpressible guest takes place: “of the soul the sweetest guest” as the marvellous liturgical hymn for Pentecost says. Man becomes a “temple of the Holy Spirit”, repeats Saint Paul (1Cor 3,16; 6,19).
People today, and christians too, very often, even those consecrated to God, tend to become more and more secular. But they cannot and must not ever forget this fundamental requirement of interior life if they want their lives to remain christian and animated by the Holy Spirit. Pentecost has been preceded by eight days of recollection and prayer. Interior silence is necessary in order to hear God's word, feel his presence, hear the call of God.
Our minds today are far too turned outwards...; we do not know how to meditate, how to pray. We do not know how to silence all the noise made inside us by outside interests, images, feelings. There is no peaceful, dedicated space in our hearts for the flame of Pentecost... The conclusion is obvious: we need to give the interior life its place in the ordering of our tumultuous lives; a place that is special, silent, pure. We need to recollect ourselves again that the lifegiving and sanctifying Spirit may dwell within us.
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