Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Vatican II "was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit," and yet, 50 years later, there is no "Church continuity". There are "stubborn" members who even want to turn back and "tame the Holy Spirit." Pope Francis took the opportunity to speak about the Council 50 years since it opened, inspired by the passage in the Acts of the Apostles that tells the story of Stephen who, before he was stoned, described as "stubborn" those who oppose the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Father spoke during the Mass he celebrated this morning in the chapel of Santa Marta (pictured), dedicated to Benedict XVI, who turns 86 today, so that "the Lord may be with him, comfort him and give him much consolation." Francis personally extended his good wishes to Benedict XVI with whom he spoke by phone.
Vatican Radio reported that, during the homily, when he commented Stephen's words and remembered Jesus' rebuke to the disciples of Emmaus, "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!", the Pope said that "always, even among us, there is resistance to the Holy Spirit."
"To put it plainly, the Holy Spirit gives us trouble. Because it moves us, makes us walk, impels the Church to go forward. And we are like Peter at the Transfiguration, 'Ah, how nice to be this way, all together!' . . . As long as it does not bother us. We want the Holy Spirit to doze off . . . we want to tame the Holy Spirit. That is wrong. Because He is God and He is the wind that comes and goes and one dodx not know from where. It is God's power; it is what gives us consolation and strength to go on. But, going ahead! This bothers us. Comfort is better."
"Today," the pope went on to say, "it seems that we are all happy" for the presence of the Holy Spirit, but that "is not true. Such temptation is still topical. Case in point, let us think about the Council."
"The Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit. Consider Pope John. He looked like a good parish priest; he was obedient to the Holy Spirit and he did it. But after 50 years, have we have done everything the Holy Spirit told us in the Council? In the continuity of growth of the Church that was the Council? No. We celebrate this anniversary, we make a monument, as long as it does not bother us. We do not want to change. What is more, some people want to go back. This is stubbornness, this is what we call, trying to tame the Holy Spirit, this is what we call becoming foolish and slow of heart."
"The same thing happens even in our personal lives, "the pope added. In fact, "the Spirit moves us to take a more evangelical way," but we resist. The final exhortation is "Do not resist the Holy Spirit. The Spirit sets us free, with Jesus' freedom, with the freedom of God's children."
"Do not resist the Holy Spirit. This is the grace I wish we would all ask for from the Lord: to be docile towards the Holy Spirit, that Spirit that comes from us and makes us go forward on the path of holiness, the beautiful holiness of the Church, the grace of docility towards the Holy Spirit. "