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Pope Francis warns against rigid and mediocre Christians in his Santa Marta homily

2016-10-06

Pope Francis warned of two dangers at the Mass at Casa Santa Marta. He said that on one hand there are Christians who think God is just a set of rules and reduce Him to the law. Others, however, are content to lead a mediocre Christian life.

POPE FRANCIS
"We can ask ourselves today, in a moment during the day, ‘Do I ignore the Holy Spirit? And do I reason with myself, thinking that if I go to Sunday Mass, if I do this or if I do that, it is enough?’ Second, ‘Is my life a kind of half of a life, lukewarm, that which saddens the Holy Spirit, and doesn’t allow that power to carry me forward, to be open?’ Or finally, ‘Is my life a continual prayer to open myself to the Holy Spirit?’ "

The pope recalled that Christians follow neither an ideology, nor are simply subject to a number of rules. Being a Christian is to know and follow a person, Jesus.

EXCERPTS OF PAPAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

"And this attachment to the Law ignores the Holy Spirit. It does not grant that the redemption of Christ goes forward with the Holy Spirit. It ignores that: there is only the Law. It is true that there are the Commandments and we have to follow the Commandments; but always through the grace of this great gift that the Father has given us, His Son, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. And so the Law is understood. But don’t reduce the Spirit and the Son to the Law. This was the problem of these people: they ignored the Holy Spirit, and they did not know to go forward. Closed, closed in precepts: we have to do this, we have to do that. At times, it can happen that we fall into this temptation.” 

"Because ideologies bewitch; and so Paul begins here: ‘O stupid Galatians, who has bewitched you?’ Those who preach with ideologies: It’s absolutely just! They bewitch: It’s all clear. But look, the revelation is not clear, eh? The revelation of God is discovered more and more each day, it is always on a journey. Is it clear? Yes! It is crystal clear! It is Him, but we have to discover it along the way. And those who believe they have the whole truth in their hands are not [just] ignorant. Paul says more: [you are] ‘stupid’, because you have allowed yourselves to be enchanted.”

"We can ask ourselves today, in a moment during the day, ‘Do I ignore the Holy Spirit? And do I know that if I go to Sunday Mass, if I do this, if I do that, is it enough?’ Second, ‘Is my life a kind of half a life, lukewarm, that saddens the Holy Spirit, and doesn’t allow that power in me to carry me forward, to be open?’ Or finally, ‘Is my life a continual prayer to open myself to the Holy Spirit, so that He can carry me forward with the joy of the Gospel and make me understand the teaching of Jesus, the true doctrine, that does not bewitch, that does not make us stupid, but the true [teaching]?’ And it helps us understand where our weaknesses are, those things that sadden Him; and it carries us forward, and also carrying forward the Name of Jesus to others and teaching the path of salvation. May the Lord give us this grace: to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, so that we will not become stupid, enchanted men and women who make the Spirit sad.”