Skip to comments.Pope at Mass: The Holy Spirit and historical memory
Posted on 05/13/2013 7:52:23 AM PDT by markomalley
The Holy Spirit helps Christians remember the history of our faith and the gifts we have received from God. Without this grace, we risk slipping into idolatry. That was Pope Francis message at morning Mass on Monday.
Mondays first reading from the answer that Acts of the Apostles described Pauls exchange with a group of disciples in and their surprising statement: We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. Pope Francis began his homily commenting on these words and the amazement they produced by in Paul.
But he noted, with a certain realism, that the lack of awareness manifested by the Christians two thousand years ago was something confined to the first ages of the faith. The Holy Spirit, he said, is always somewhat the unknown of the faith.
Even now, many Christians do not know who the Holy Spirit is, what the Holy Spirit is. And you sometimes hear: But I get on well enough with the Father and with Son, because I pray the Our Father to the Father, I have communion with the Son, but I do not know what to do with the Holy Spirit. . .' Or people say, The Holy Spirit is the dove, the one that gives us the seven gifts. But in this way the poor Holy Spirit always comes last and finds no place in our lives.
Pope Francis said that the Holy Spirit is God active in us, God who helps us remember, who awakens our memory. Jesus himself explains this to the Apostles before Pentecost: the Spirit that God will send in my name, will remind you of everything I have said. The opposite, he said, would lead the Christian down a dangerous path:
"A Christian without memory is not a true Christian: he or she is a prisoner of circumstance, of the moment, a man or woman who has no history. He or she does have a history, but does not how to enter into history. It is the Spirit that teaches us how to enter into history. Historical memory ... When in the Letter to the Hebrews, the author says: Remember your fathers in the faith memory; remember the early days of your faith, how you were courageous -memory. A memory of our life, of our history, a memory of the moment when we had the grace of meeting Jesus, the memory of all that Jesus has told us.
That memory that comes from the heart, that is a grace of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis vigorously repeated. He said remembering, also means remembering ones own misery, that which makes us slaves, and together with them, the grace of God that redeems us from our miseries:
And when a little vanity creeps in, when someone believes themselves to be a winner of the Nobel Prize for Holiness, then memory is also good for us: But ... remember where I took you from, the very least of the flock. You were behind, in the flock. Memory is a great grace, and when a Christian has no memory this is a hard thing, but it's true - he is not a Christian, he is an idolater. Because he is before a God that has no road, that does not know how to move forward on the road. Our God is moving forward on the road with us, He is among us, He walks with us. He saves us. He makes history with us. Be mindful of all that, and life becomes more fruitful, with the grace of memory.
Pope Francis concluded with an invitation to Christians to ask the grace of memory, so that they will never be a people that forgets the paths that have been taken, that they will not forget the graces of their lives; that they will not forget the forgiveness of their sins; that they will not forget that they were slaves and the Lord has saved them.
Mass was attended by Vatican Radio technicians and staff and employees from the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, led by head of the Congregation, Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò, with the secretary Msgr. Joseph Kalathiparambil, and the Undersecretary Father Gabriel Bentoglio, who concelebrated with the Pope.
After the Mass, Pope Francis wished Msgr Peter Wells, an Assessor for General Affairs at the Secretariat of State, a happy birthday thanking him for the all the good he has done in the service of the Church.
right on the mark.
He lives the Life. awesome.
I have observed that he speaks with greater clarity and less confusion that his five predecessors.
Now if he would only admit and roll back all the ridiculousness that ensued subsequent to Vatican II we’d really be getting somewhere.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.
or in Latin
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur. Et renovabis faciem terrae. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum.
My theory is that he is being a role model to bishops and priests— reminding them, by his example,of the fundamentals of caring for the flock, which is something that some have gotten sidetracked from.
Nice! I really like this Pope.
Vatican II represented a serious break in historical memory and, IMHO, is directly responsible for the absence of this memory among modern Christians.
Most of the documents were pretty foggy, and probably wouldn’t have caused that much harm (or good) on their own, but the abrupt and unexpected imposition of the Novus Ordo almost completely severed the historical memory expressed in the liturgy, and the changes to the Calendar and the Office took care of the rest of it.
If he went back to the old Calendar (with the new saints, of course) and the old Office, that would go a long way to restoring our lost memory before it’s too late.
I think the liturgy is going to be more difficult, because the positions have become very politicized and perhaps the only thing to do is to announce a revision of the old (1962) Mass and create a genuine reform (which would probably be mostly in the vernacular and look a lot like the 1965 “interim” missal) that would replace the Novus Ordo. This would probably offend or please both sides about equally, which would be good.
That is, I don’t think he could just go back to the 1962 missal (to say nothing of Latin, since even the clergy no longer knows it) without setting off a storm that would be more political than liturgical in nature.