Thursday, May 1, 2014


From the Hermitage

Pope Francis' Wednesday (April 30, 2014) Audience Instruction

Dear Friends,

Among those who may follow or occasionally visit this blog site are not just the baptized but the confirmed.  How often, among those who have been fully "incorporated" in the Roman Catholic Church, even in a month's time, do we turn any attention to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Yesterday Pope Francis continued his Wednesday catechesis, treaching or recalling the blessings we share because of the Holy Spirit we received on the day of our Confirmation.  The Pope's most recent "classroom session" was focused on the Gift of Understanding.

His words led to a consideration of this special gift as seen in the experience of the two disciples who fled Rome after the Crucifixion of Jesus.  This is one of the Resurrection stories that most of us do recall.  In the discovery experience, these disciples may well mirror the experiences of so many of us.  Jesus comes to us in ways we may not immediately understand.  Recall the words of the two disciples that were recorded by the Evangelists.  They went like this as one asked the other:  "Weren't our hearts on fire as He opened our eyes to see that this is the Lord, this is Jesus Christ?"

The gift of Understanding, born in our baptism and faith, said the Holy Father, enables us to discover in our experiences those moments when God speaks to us.  It is the gift of Understanding that assists us in our confusion, in our sense of being lost, to discover if the Holy Spirit is trying to help us open our minds and hearts to the call of God, to the voice of Jesus, our Savior.

Consider during this day if this particular gift of the Holy Spirit is one that each of us can gainfully employ to strengthen our faith.  Remember this blogger's repeated teaching:  faith is our personal relationship with God the Father, with Jesus and with the Holy Spirit.

Our God is a didactic God ... doing all He can each day, each moment of our lives, to instruct us, to guide toward that moment when we accomplish what His will is for each of us.  Understanding, one of those seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, may well be described as the lesson plan for helping us come to know, to understand and to use the Gift of Understanding.

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Milt