Pope Francis says one word is essential to invoke the Spirit: “Come”
Pope Francis concluded his teaching on St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians on November 10, stopping to give a lesson on how to pray to the Holy Spirit. Saint Paul’s constant exhortation is to experience the freedom to “walk in the Spirit”.
“We must trust that the Spirit always comes to help us in our weakness and grants us the support we need,” the Pope said.
He encouraged:So let’s learn to invoke the Holy Spirit more often!
But then the pope acknowledged that we might wonder how to pray to the Holy Spirit:
So, Father, how is the Holy Spirit invoked? I know how to pray to the Father with the Our Father. I know how to pray to Mary with the Ave Maria. I know how to pray to Jesus with the Prayer to His Holy Wounds. But to the Spirit… What is prayer to the Holy Spirit?
The Pope responded by emphasizing one word: Come.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit is spontaneous: it must come from your heart. In difficult times, you must ask, “Holy Spirit, come. The key word is this: come. Come. But you have to say it yourself in your own words.
Come, because I am in trouble. Come, because I am in the dark. Come, because I don’t know what to do. Come, because I’m going to fall. Come. Come. It is the word of the Holy Spirit – how to invoke the Spirit.
Let us learn to invoke the Holy Spirit often. We can do this with simple words at different times of the day.
Like Mary and the Apostles
The Holy Father suggested that another aid to our prayer might be the Church’s prayer for the Feast of Pentecost, which he suggested we take with us, nestled in the Gospel. He repeatedly urged congregants to carry the Gospels in a pocket or purse, so they can take a few seconds with the scripture, while we wait in line or at other times.
He recited part of the Church’s Pentecost prayer:
“Come, come Holy Spirit, / And from your heavenly abode / Cast a ray of divine light! / Come, come, Father of the poor! / Come, Source of all our store! / Come, shine in our breasts! / You, comforters the best; / You the soul’s most welcome guest; / Sweet refreshment… Come…”
“And so on, it’s a very beautiful prayer”, but “the essence of the prayer is ‘Come’, as the Madonna and the Apostles prayed during the days when Christ ascended into Heaven. They were alone in the Upper Room begging: Come, let the Spirit come.
“It would be good for us to pray to him often,” the pope said. “Come, Holy Spirit.”
And with the presence of the Spirit, we will protect our freedom. We are free, free Christians, not tied to the past in a bad way, not chained to practices. Christian freedom is what makes us grow. This prayer will help us to walk in the Spirit, in freedom and in joy because when the Holy Spirit comes, joy, real joy comes.