July 1, 2014. The Council of Cardinals began their fifth meeting with the Pope at the Vatican. Starting today at Casa Santa Marta, it will end on Friday, July 4. The previous meetings were from 1 to 3 October 2013, 3 -5 December 2013, from 17 to 19 February 2014 and 28 to 30 April 2014.
Now that John Paul II and John XXIII have been canonized, it's business as usual for Pope Francis. He led his weekly general audience, focusing his catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
He talked about the gift of understanding, which he described as a grace that allows people to better understand God.
"This is what the Holy Spirit does with us. The Spirit opens the mind, so we can better understand the Divine, humanity and situations.”
Actually receiving the grace of understanding, he said, is not based on intellect, nor is it a special ability.
"One can understand a situation with human intelligence and wisely-this is good. But understanding a situation in depth, as understood by God is the real effect of this gift.”
It's also a grace that's key in understanding the Scriptures. To make this point, he referenced a Gospel reading of Emmaus, which describes how the disciples were so filled with sorrow, they couldn't recognize the presence of Jesus—their pain was blinding.
"You can read the Gospel and understand something, but if you read the Gospel through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can understand God's Word in depth. This is a great gift, a great gift we must all pray for.”
Roughly 40,000 people took part in the general audience. Many of them were Polish, since they decided to stay a few days after the canonization. The Pope greeted them and now that John Paul II is a saint, he encouraged them to pray for his intercession.