Becoming Bearers of Grace and Hope

Saint Francis tells us we should “desire to have the Spirit of the Lord and his holy action within us, above everything else.” We seek this divine gift not just for our ownselves but also to be instruments of hope and blessing for other people.

In this time of Pentecost Pope Francis calls us, who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, to be ‘paracletes’ for others.

“Not only does the Holy Spirit make us capable of hoping, but also to be sowers of hope, to be also — like Him and thanks to Him – “paracletes,” namely consolers and defenders of brothers, sowers of hope.

A Christian can sow bitterness, he can sow perplexity, and this is not Christian, and one who does this is not a good Christian. He sows hope: he sows the oil of hope; he sows the perfume of hope and not the vinegar of bitterness and despair.

In one of his addresses, Blessed Cardinal Newman said to the faithful: “Instructed by our own suffering, by our own pain, even by our own sins, we will have the mind and the heart exercised in every work of love towards those who have need of it. In the measure of our capacity, we will be consolers in the image of the Paraclete, and in all the senses that this word entails: advocates, assistants, comfort bearers. Our words and our advice, our way of being, our voice, our look, will be gentle and tranquilizing” (Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. V, London, 1870, pp. 300f.).

And it is above all the poor, the excluded, the unloved that are in need of someone who will be a “paraclete” to them, namely, a consoler and defender, as the Holy Spirit is with every one of us, who are here in the Square – consoler and defender.

We must do the same with the neediest, with the most rejected, with those who have greatest need, those who suffer most – defenders and consolers!”

(General Audience, 31 May 2017)

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