Pope Francis: Prayer opens the door to freedom through the Holy Spirit

Freedom is found in the Holy Spirit who provides the strength to fulfil God’s will, Pope Francis said in his Monday morning Mass homily.

“Prayer is what opens the door to the Holy Spirit and gives us this freedom, this boldness, this courage of the Holy Spirit,” Pope Francis said in his homily April 20.

“May the Lord help us to always be open to the Holy Spirit because it will carry us forward in our life of service to the Lord,” the pope said.

Speaking from the chapel in his Vatican City residence, Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that the early Christians were guided by the Holy Spirit, who provided them strength to pray with courage and boldness.

“Being a Christian is not just fulfilling the Commandments. They must be done, this is true, but if you stop there, you are not a good Christian. To be a good Christian is to let the Holy Spirit enter into you and take you, take you where he wants,” Pope Francis said according to a transcript by Vatican News.

The pope pointed to the Gospel account of an encounter between Nicodemus, a pharisee, and Jesus in which the pharisee asked: “How can a man once grown old be born again?”

To which Jesus replies in chapter three of the Gospel of John: “You must be born from above. The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Pope Francis said: “The definition of the Holy Spirit that Jesus gives here is interesting … unconstrained. A person who gets carried from both sides by the Holy Spirit: this is the freedom of the Spirit. And a person who does this is docile, and here we talk about docility to the Holy Spirit.”

“In our Christian life many times we stop like Nicodemus … we do not know what step to take, we do not know how to do it or we do not have faith in God to take this step and let the Spirit enter,” he said. “To be born again is to let the Spirit enter us.”

“With this freedom of the Holy Spirit you will never know where you will end up,” Francis said.

At the beginning of his morning Mass, Pope Francis prayed for men and women with a political calling who must make decisions during the coronavirus pandemic. He prayed that political parties in different countries may “seek together the good of the country and not the good of their party.”

“Politics is a high form of charity,” Pope Francis said.