Wednesday, June 9, 2010

John 16:13-14 Spirit of Truth

John 16:13-14 Spirit of Truth
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput spoke to World Youth Day participants in a teaching session titled, “Called to live in the Holy Spirit” on Wednesday morning. During his address he explained the importance of listening to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit in today’s ‘violent’ world.

Archbishop Chaput of Denver began his catechesis on the Holy Spirit by asking the young pilgrims to reflect on the Holy Spirit, who is described in the Creed as “The giver of Life!”

“What do we thirst for more than anything else in the world? Life. We want as much life as we can get. We want a long life, a happy life, a healthy life. Everything we hope for is somehow summarized in that powerful word, ‘life’,” the archbishop said.

“So if the Holy Spirit is the giver of life, it means He’s the one that brings us to a full understanding and union with the real Jesus Christ -- not with the ‘nice guy’ or interesting teacher that the world would prefer Jesus to be, but the true Jesus Christ who is the only Son of the Father, the Saviour of the world, and the source of all life and happiness for you, for me and for all humanity.”

The Holy Spirit as a dove?

The archbishop went on to explain that usually, in Catholic imagery, the Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove. “But have you ever wondered, Why a dove? Maybe one of the reasons is that there’s nothing threatening about a dove. A dove typically embodies purity, beauty and gentleness. The kindness of the Holy Spirit operating in our lives is exactly the opposite of the violence that the world and the devil rely on.”

However, this violence “isn’t always bloody. Some things can feel very pleasant but leave a deep wound that we only discover much later.”

The archbishop went on to say that every day, all people – including the faithful, “drink in a river of bad ideas pushed by marketers who want your money, your approval and your conformity -- and they make very sure they get it by using the radio, television, internet, popular songs and peer pressure to wrap you up in, like a spider getting ready for dinner. Today’s popular culture is based on a message that seems liberating, but it actually diminishes your humanity. …In a nutshell, the modern world suggests that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. If someone else suffers as a consequence, if some damage is unintentionally done to other people by your actions, well, that’s not your fault.”

The archbishop then spoke of the irony of when some young people criticize authority “claiming they want to be ‘free’ or that they want to ‘live their own lives,” but then dress exactly “the same way, listen to the same music, follow the same fashions and generally behave not like social reformers, but like lemmings.”

“It’s the worst kind of slavery,” he continued, “when corporations and fashion designers and political opinion makers treat people like chumps. They trick a whole generation into doing what the world demands, while at the same time telling young people that they’re ‘free,’ ‘original’ and even ‘revolutionary’.”

In contrast, “God acts in a completely different way. That’s why the Holy Spirit is shown as a dove: He reveals to us the truth, helps us understand who Jesus really is, and calls us to a radically new life in Christ. But He never forces us or deceives us into doing anything we don't willingly choose to do. That’s real freedom: when we choose, against our shortcomings and temptations from the world, to live the true life brought to us by Jesus Christ.”


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