Vocation Advice from Pope Francis: Do Not Resist Holy Spirit

by Sister Marie Kolbe on April 16, 2013

Franciscan Sister Marie Kolbe Zamora translates a recent article of Pope Francis entitled: Do Not Resist the Holy Spirit. Click here for original document. We invite you to consider our May 17-19, 2013 Vocation Discernment Retreat.

The Holy Spirit urges individuals and the Church herself to move ahead, but we resist the Holy Spirit and we do not want to change.  This is what Pope Francis affirmed this morning(15 April) at the Chapel of Casa Santa Marta . . .

Franciscan-Sister-Elena-and-Sister-Elaine-assist-others St. Stephen, proclaiming the resurrection, warns the people about to stone him with strong words:  “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit.” (Acts 7. 51) Taking this as his point of departure, Pope Francis said that we today still resist the Holy Spirit in the same way.

“To say it clearly, the Holy Spirit bothers us because the Holy Spirit urges us to walk, pushes the Church forward.  We, however, prefer to be like St. Peter at the Transfiguration: “How good it is to be here . . . all together . . . ”  as long as we are not inconvenienced.

Year-of-Faith-calls-us-to-personal-prayerWe want the Holy Spirit to doze off; we want to tame the Holy Spirit.  This will never work because the Holy Spirit is God; he is that wind that comes and goes without us knowing from where.  The Holy Spirit is the force and the power of God that gives us the consolation and the strength to move ahead; to MOVE AHEAD!!  And this urging us to “move ahead” bothers us.  Our comfort/convenience seems better to us.

Today, it seems that we are all content with the presence of the Holy Spirit.  But it is not true.  The temptation to oppose the Holy Spirit exists even today.  For example, let’s think of Vatican II.  The second Vatican Council was a beautiful work of the Holy Spirit . . . But after 50 years, have we done all that the Holy Spirit asked us to do at Vatican II, in that continuity that is the growth of the Church that the Council represents?  No.  We are happy to celebrate this anniversary, as long as it does not inconvenience us.  And even more, there are those who wish to move backward.  This is called “being stiff-necked”; this is called wanting to domesticate the Holy Spirit; this is being foolish and slow of heart.

Even in our personal lives, the Holy Spirit urges us to undertake a more Evangelical way of life, and we resist him.  Do not resist the Holy Spirit!!  It is the Spirit who makes us free with the same freedom Jesus himself lived; the freedom that makes us children of God!  Do not resist the Holy Spirit! This is the grace that I wish for each of us to ask of the Lord: docility to the Holy Spirit, to that Spirit who comes to us and who urges us to progress on the road of sanctity, that beautiful sanctity that belongs to the Church!  May each of us receive the grace of docility to the Holy Spirit!”

5 thoughts on “Vocation Advice from Pope Francis: Do Not Resist Holy Spirit”

  1. Sister Mary Ann says:

    Thanks so much Sister Marie Kolbe, for translating this inspiring message from Pope Francis! The presence of the Holy Spirit is visible in so many who reach out to those in need, in the young women truly desiring to respond to God’s invitation to give their lives to Him, in those new members of the Church, in the goodness of others doing countless acts of charity and in prayer! May we continue to live the Gospel life through the power of the Holy Spirit without boundaries!

  2. On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations I can’t help but believe the world needs more Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity to live the Gospel in simplicity, firmly built on faith in a loving God, joyful acceptance of poverty, love for the Church, and selfless dedication to the service of others. Please do not resist the Holy Spirit. We invite you to come and get to know us.

  3. Sister Nancy Kinate says:

    Thank you for bringing this message/imperative from Pope Francis to our attention. May the Holy Spirit bother us as persons, Franciscans and Church to be more fired up about living an Evangelical way of life as initiated by Vatican II. Using a metaphor from John XXIII, we Christians would more be the “sparks in the stubble of this world” that we are called to be. So come, Holy Spirit…

  4. Sister Sue Ann Hall says:

    I feel we forget the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives until Conformation rolls around or Pentecost appears once again after the Easter Season. We have this special gift, the Holy Spirit, Who wants nothing more then to help us as we journey through life. He shows us the way and inspiresus to live the life God wants us to live. “Do not resist the Holy Spirit”.

  5. My favorite line, “How good it is to be here . . . all together . . . ” as long as we are not inconvenienced.” The Holy Spirit certainly DOES inconvenience us, pushes, prompts, impels, nudges, demands at times. This article was a breath of fresh air and a reminder to “pay attention.” Thank you!

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