The preacher of the papal household, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, delivers his second Advent sermon and reflects on the role of the Holy Spirit in our prayer as children of God.
By Devin Watkins
Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa continued his reflection on Paul’s letter to the Galatians in his second Advent sermon for Pope Francis and the Roman Curia.
He began by presenting a former bishop named Abercius as a role model for rediscovering “the freshness, enthusiasm and wonder” of faith in Christ.
“It’s about looking at the cathedral’s stained glass windows from the inside, rather than from the street side,” he noted.
Overcome the reign of sin
Cardinal Cantalamessa then reflected on the role of the Holy Spirit in lifting our minds and hearts to God, saying that without him we cannot even begin to pray or realize that we are children of God.
“If the Spirit is ‘the proof’ that we are children of God, if he ‘testifies’ of our spirit,” he said, “it cannot be something going on ‘somewhere’ that we are not. conscious or without any confirmation. “
The Cardinal said that this confirmation comes when we overcome the “sin regime” which causes us to view the will of God with animosity and as a restriction on our human freedom.
Love replaces fear
On the contrary, noted Cardinal Cantalamessa, the Holy Spirit comes to heal us of this “terrible distortion” by showing us “another face of God, the face that Jesus reveals to us in the Gospel”.
“Little by little, the feeling that a child experiences flourishes in us which spontaneously translates into the cry: Abba, Father! “He said.” A child has replaced the slave, love has replaced fear. The person ceases to be hostile to God and becomes God’s ally.
Silent before the majesty of God
The preacher of the Papal House continued to reflect on the prayer which the Holy Spirit inspires in us by grace to help us realize our true vocation.
He said that prayer is the “privileged place where the Holy Spirit always again works the miracle of making us feel like the children of God.”
This experience often takes place “suddenly and intensely” in a person’s life and is accompanied by a feeling of “the majesty and transcendence of God” that leaves us “overwhelmed and silent”.
Invoke the Father in our drought
Jesus, Cardinal Cantalamessa said, taught us to call God our Father, or “Papa”, which is similar to the meaning of the Aramaic word. Abba.
He added that the heart of God is “touched” when we speak to Him with so much love, even when we fail to “feel” something special in our prayer. It is precisely in our drought that our prayer reaches its true peaks of love and its depths of faith, said the Cardinal.
The Spirit guiding the synodal path of the Church
Cardinal Cantalamessa concluded his second Advent sermon by urging Church leaders to base each of their pastoral actions and plans on the Holy Spirit.
“When circumstances permit,” he said, “we should spend some time revealing ourselves to the Holy Spirit, to give the Spirit time to manifest, to synchronize with Him. “
Entrusting our work to the Holy Spirit and letting Him guide us, said the Cardinal, is all the more necessary as the Church engages in the synodal adventure.