Vatican City (
AsiaNews) - With the "gift of understanding" - which is not human
intelligence - the Holy Spirit helps us see things as God sees them",
"to understand a situation in depth , as God understands" although
this "does not mean that a Christian can understand everything and have a full
knowledge of God's plans". Continuing
his catechesis dedicated to the gifts of the Holy Spirit , Pope Francis, who
had spoken last Wednesday of Wisdom, today explained the meaning of "Understanding".
As per usual, Pope Francis toured among the 50 thousand people present in St Peter's Square, in his white jeep, before explaining to them that when one speaks of the "gift of understanding, it is "not a question of human intelligence, the intellectual capacity with which we can be gifted to a greater or lesser degree. Instead, it is a grace that only the Holy Spirit can infuse and which awakens in the Christian the ability to go beyond the outward appearance of reality and scrutinize the depths of God's thoughts and His plan of salvation".
"The Apostle Paul - he continued - speaking to the community of Corinth, describes the effects of this gift well - what this of understanding does in us - and Paul says this: "What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit"(1 Cor 2:9-10 ) . This of course does not mean that a Christian can understand everything and have full knowledge of God's plan: All of this will only be revealed in all its clarity when we find ourselves in the sight of God, and we are truly one with Him. Yet, as suggested by the word itself, understanding allows us to "intus legere" to "read into": and this gift helps us understand things as God he understands, as God understands, with the intelligence of God, because one can understand a situation with human intelligence, with prudence, and that's okay. But, to understand the situation in depth, as God understands, this is the effect of this gift. And Jesus wanted to send the Holy Spirit so that we could have this gift so that we can all see things as God understands, with the intelligence of God. This is a beautiful gift that the Lord has given us all".
"It is clear that the gift of understanding is closely related to faith. When the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts and enlighten our minds, it makes us grow day by day in the understanding of what the Lord has said and done. Jesus himself said to his disciples: I will send the Holy Spirit and he will make you understand all that I have taught you. Understanding the teachings of Jesus, to understand His Word, to understand the Gospel, to understand God's Word. One can read the Gospel and understand something, but if we read the Gospel with this gift of the Holy Spirit we can understand the depth of God's words . And this is a great gift, a great gift that we all have to ask for and ask together: Give us, O Lord, the gift of understanding. It helps us to perceive more and more how everything is a gift of His love for our salvation. The Lord himself has told us that the Holy Spirit would remind us of his teachings and would explain what we do not understand".
Pope Francis then spoke of the Gospel story of the disciples of Emmaus "which expresses very well the depth and strength of this gift." When Jesus joins them, they do not recognize him . "But when the Lord explained the Scriptures to them, so that they would understand that He had to suffer and die and then rise again, their minds open and hope is rekindled in their hearts (cf. Lk 24.13 to 27) . And this is what the Holy Spirit does for us: it opens our minds, opens us to better understand, to better understand the things of God, human things, situations, all things. It is an important gift for our Christian life. Let's ask the Lord to give us, to give all of us this gift to understand, as he understands, the things that happen, and, most importantly, to understand the Word of God in the Gospel".