Pope Francis Reveals Key Prayer to the Holy Spirit and says "...learn to invoke the Holy Spirit more often!" FULL TEXT + Video


Paul VI Audience Hall - Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians: 15. Let us not grow weary

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

We have reached the end of the catechesis on the Letter to the Galatians. We could have reflected on so much other content contained in this writing of Saint Paul! The Word of God is an inexhaustible font. And in this letter, the Apostle has spoken to us as an evangeliser, as a theologian and as a pastor.

The holy bishop Ignatius of Antioch used a beautiful expression when he wrote: “There is then one Teacher, who spoke and it was done; while even those things which He did in silence are worthy of the Father. He who possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to hear even His very silence” (To the Ephesians, 15, 1-2). We can say that the apostle Paul was capable of giving voice to this silence of God.

His most original intuitions help us discover the shocking newness contained in the revelation of Jesus Christ. He was a true theologian who contemplated the mystery of Christ and transmitted it with his creative intelligence. And he was also capable of exercising his pastoral mission towards a lost and confused community. He did this with different methods: from time to time he used irony, firmness, gentleness… He revealed his own authority as an apostle, but at the same time he did not hide the weaknesses of his character. The strength of the Spirit had truly entered his heart: his meeting with the Risen Christ conquered and transformed his entire life, and he spent it entirely at the service of the Gospel. This is Paul.

Paul never conceived of Christianity in peaceful terms, lacking bite and force — on the contrary. With such passion he defended the freedom Christ brought that it stills moves us today, especially if we think of the suffering and loneliness he must have endured. He was convinced that he had received a call to which he alone could respond; and he wanted to explain to the Galatians that they too were called to that freedom which liberated them from every form of slavery because it made them heirs of the ancient promise and, in Christ, children of God. And aware of the risks that this concept of freedom brought, he never minimised the consequences. He was aware of the risks that Christian freedom brought. But he did not minimise the consequences. With parrhesia, that is, courageously, he repeated to the believers that freedom is in no way equal to debauchery, nor does it lead to forms of presumptuous self-sufficiency. Rather, Paul placed freedom in love’s shadow and based its consistent exercise on the service of charity. This entire vision was set within the panorama of a life according to the Holy Spirit that brings to fulfillment the Law given by God to Israel and prevents falling back into the slavery of sin. But the temptation is always to go backward, right? One definition of Christians found in the Scripture says that we Christians are not the type of people who go backward, who turn back. This is a beautiful definition. And the temptation is to turn back to be more secure. And in this case, to turn back to the Law, disregarding the new life of the Spirit. This is what Paul teaches us: the fulfillment of the true Law is found in this life of the Spirit given to us by Jesus. And this life of the Spirit can only be lived in freedom. Christian freedom. This is one of the most beautiful things, most beautiful.

At the end of this catechetical journey, it seems to me that a twofold attitude could rise within us. On the one hand, the Apostle’s teaching generates enthusiasm in us; we feel drawn to follow immediately the way of freedom, to “walk according to the Spirit”. Walking according to the Spirit always makes us free. On the other hand, we are aware of our limitations because we are daily in touch with how difficult it is to be docile to the Spirit, to surrender to his beneficial action. Then tiredness can set it that dampens enthusiasm. We feel discouraged, weak, sometimes marginalised with respect to a worldly life-style. Saint Augustine, referring to the Gospel episode of the storm on the lake, suggests how to react in this situation. This is what he says: “The faith of Christ in your heart is like Christ in the boat. You hear insults, you wear yourself out, you are upset, and Christ sleeps. Wake Christ up, rouse your faith! Even in tribulation you can do something. Rouse your faith. Christ awakes and speaks to you… Therefore, wake Christ up… Believe what has been said to you, and there will be tremendous calm in your heart” (Sermon 63). Saint Augustine says here that in difficult moments it is like we are in the boat at the moment of the storm. And what did the apostles do? They woke Christ up. Wake up Christ who sleeps and you are in the storm, but He is present. This is the only thing we can do in terrible moments: wake up Christ who is within us, but sleeps like [he did] in the boat. It is exactly like this. We must rouse Christ in our hearts and only then will we be able to contemplate things with his eyes for He sees beyond the storm. Through that serene gaze, we can see a panorama that is not even conceivable on our own.

In this challenging but captivating journey, the Apostle reminds us that we cannot let ourselves tire when it comes to doing good. “Let us not grow weary in well-doing” (Gal 6:9). We must trust that the Spirit always comes to assist us in our weakness and grants us the support we need. Let us, therefore, learn to invoke the Holy Spirit more often! “So, Father, how is the Holy Spirit invoked? I know how to pray to the Father with the Our Father. I know how to pray to Mary with the Hail Mary. I know how to pray to Jesus with the Prayer to His Holy Wounds. But to the Spirit… What is the prayer to the Holy Spirit?” The prayer to the Holy Spirit is spontaneous: it needs to come from your heart. In difficult moments, you need to ask: “Holy Spirit, come”. The key word is this: come. Come. But you need to say it yourself in your own words. Come, because I find myself in difficulty. Come, because I am in the dark. Come, because I don’t know what to do. Come, because I am about to fall. Come. Come. This is the Holy Spirit’s word – how to call upon the Spirit.  Let us learn to invoke the Holy Spirit often. We can do this with simple words at various moments during the day. And we can carry with us, perhaps inside the Gospel in our pocket, the beautiful prayer the Church recites on Pentecost: “Come, come Holy Spirit, / And from your celestial home / Shed a ray of light divine! / Come, come, Father of the poor! / Come, Source of all our store! / Come, within our bosoms shine! / You, of comforters the best; / You the soul’s most welcome Guest; / Sweet refreshment… Come…” And so it continues, it is a very beautiful prayer. But only if you have the prayer – or if you cannot find it, the gist of the prayer is “Come”, as the Madonna and the Apostles prayed during the days when Christ ascended into Heaven. They were alone in the Upper Room begging: Come, that the Spirit would come. It would be good for us to pray it often. Come, Holy Spirit. And with the presence of the Spirit, we will protect our freedom. We are free, free Christians, not attached to the past in the bad sense of the word, not chained to practices. Christian freedom is what makes us grow. This prayer will help us walk in the Spirit, in freedom and in joy because when the Holy Spirit comes, joy, true joy comes. May the Lord bless you. Thank you.


Special Greetings

Je salue cordialment les personnes de langue française, particulièrement les jeunes de “l'Ecole des Francs Bourgeois-La-Salle, de Paris”. Frères et sœurs, à l'exemple de Saint Paul, demandons la grâce d'une vraie rencontre avec le Christ afin qu'il nous libère des liens qui nous entravent en ce monde et qu'il nous aide à mettre toute notre vie au service de l'Evangile et du prochain. Que Dieu vous bénisse!

I cordially greet the French-speaking faithful, in particular the young people of the Ecole des Francs Bourgeois-La-Salle, de Paris. Brothers and sisters, following the example of Saint Paul, let us ask for the grace of a true encounter with Christ to free us from the bonds that hinder us in this world and help us to put our whole life at the service of the Gospel and of neighbor. God bless you! ]

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today's Audience, especially the groups from England and the United States of America. In this month of November, let us pray for our deceased loved ones, and for all who have died, that the Lord in his mercy will welcome them into the Kingdom of heaven. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of Christ. May God bless you!

Ein herzliches Willkommen sage ich allen Brüdern und Schwestern deutscher Sprache. Streben wir danach, im Heiligen Geist unseren Lebensweg zu gehen, indem wir denen nahe sind, die bedürftig sind, und indem wir Gott in allen Lebensumständen loben. Der barmherzige Gott marks euch und eure Familien.

I extend a cordial welcome to the German-speaking brothers and sisters. Let us try to walk in the Holy Spirit, being close to those in need, and praising the Lord in all our affairs. Merciful God bless you and your families .]

I cordially greet los fieles de lengua española. Los animo a pedir with confidence to the Espíritu Santo que ayude nuestra debilidad, the podemos hacer with the oración que nos proposes the liturgy el día de Pentecostés y que empieza así: «Ven Espíritu divino, manda tu luz desde el cielo. Loving father of the pobre, don en tus dones espléndido. Luz que penetras las almas, fuente del mayor consuelo ». Nos hará bien to recite it frequently, nos ayudará a caminar en la alegría y en la libertad. Que el Señor los bendiga. Muchas gracias.

Queridos fiéis de língua portuguesa, or mês de novembro lembra-nos or eternal destiny que nos espera; and lembra-o de várias formas, sendo uma delas a recordação saudosa dos nossos queridos defuntos. Eles deixaram-nos um dia com o pedido, tácito ou explícito, from nossa ajuda espiritual na sua travessia para or Além; sabeis que as nossas mãos em oração chegam até ao Céu, and assim podemos acompanhá-los até lá, consolidating neles and em nós mesmos as amarras que nos ligam à eternidade. Com este apelo que se faz súplica pelos vossos familiares falecidos, dou-vos a Bênção Apostólica.

Dear Portuguese-speaking faithful, the month of November reminds us of the eternal destiny that awaits us; and it does so in several ways, one of which is the nostalgic remembrance of our deceased loved ones. They left us one day with the request, tacit or explicit, for our spiritual help in their crossing to the Hereafter; as you know, our hands in prayer reach Heaven, and so we can accompany them there, consolidating in them and in ourselves the bonds that bind us to eternity. With this reminder that you pray for your deceased relatives, I deliver you the Apostolic Blessing .]

أُحَيِّي المُؤْمِنِينَ الناطِقِينَ باللُغَةِ العَرَبِيَّة. يُذَكِّرُنا القِدِّيسُ بُولُسُ أَنَّهُ لا يُمْكِنُنا أَنْ نَسْمَحَ لأَنْفُسِنا بأَيِّ تَعَبٍ في عَمَلِ الخَير. يَجِبُ أَنْ نَثِقَ بأَنَّ الرُّوحَ القُدُسَ يَأْتِي دائِمًا لِمُساعَدَةِ ضَعْفِنا وَيَمْنَ الرُّوحَ القُدُسَ يَأْتِي دائِمًا لِمُساعَدَةِ ضَعْفِنا وَيَمْنَ الروحَ القُدُسَ بارَكَكُم الرَّبُّ جَميعًا وَحَماكُم دائِمًا مِنْ كُلِّ شَرّ!

I greet the Arabic-speaking faithful. St. Paul reminds us that we cannot afford any weariness in doing good. We must have faith in the Holy Spirit, who always comes to help our weakness and grants us the support we need to do good. The Lord bless you all and always protect you from all evil! ]

Serdecznie witam polskich pielgrzymów. Jutro w Polsce przypada Narodowe Święto Niepodległości. Dziękując Bogu za dar wolności, pamiętajmy, że - jak mówił św. Jan Paweł II - „wolność trzeba zagospodarowywać w oparciu o miłość Boga, ojczyzny the embers” (13.11.2002). "Dzisiaj potrzeba światu the Polsce ludzi mocnych sercem, którzy w pokorze służą the miłują, błogosławią, a nie złorzeczą, the błogosławieństwem ziemie zdobywają" ( Sopot , 06.05.1999 r.). Z życzeniem pokoju i wszelkiego dobra, zawierzam Bogu wszystkich Polaków iz serca błogosławię.

I extend a cordial welcome to the Polish pilgrims. The national independence day is tomorrow in Poland. Thanking the Lord for the gift of freedom, let us remember that - as Saint John Paul II said - "this freedom must be managed on the basis of love of God, country and brothers" ( 13.11.2002 ). "Today the world and Poland need men with a big heart, who serve with humility and love, who bless and do not curse, who conquer the land with blessing" (Sopot, 5.06.1999). With the best wishes for peace and all good, I entrust all Poles to God and I bless you from my heart .]

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I extend a cordial welcome to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. In particular, I greet the Clergy Associations and the Unions of Worship - Sacristans: I express my appreciation for your service, which I encourage you to always carry out with lively pastoral sensitivity. I greet the representatives of the Penitentiary Police, the Fire Brigade and other trade unions in the Security and Defense sector: I hope that your profession will be understood as a "mission", to be carried out with competence and moral responsibility.  

Finally, as usual, my thoughts go to the elderly, the sick, the young and newlyweds. Today the liturgy remembers Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church, who consecrated his existence to the defense and spread of the Gospel truth. Through her intercession, may you live your faith with joy and be serene witnesses of the Lord's love.

My blessing to each of you.

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot