Pope's Preacher: Holy Spirit Speaks Through Conscience
We should tend our ear toward the voice of the prompter that is hidden, so we can faithfully recite our part in the scene of life.
It is easier than we think, because our prompter speaks to us from the inside, he teaches us all things, he instructs us in everything. It is enough to just give an interior glance, a movement of our heart, a prayer.
Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa explained in his third Lenten meditation that on reading the Scriptures we can discover how the Holy Spirit guides believers in a twofold manner: on one hand, through their conscience and, on the other, through the magisterium of the Church.
The preacher delivered the sermon today to Benedict XVI and the Roman Curia in the Vatican's "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel. It was titled "All Who Are Guided by the Spirit of God Are Sons of God."
Father Cantalamessa stressed that the Holy Spirit is not only the one who guides us "to the fullness of truth," according to the words of John the Evangelist, but is also the "interior teacher," as St. Paul describes him. "He does not just say what should be done, rather he also gives the capacity to do what he commands."
The Capuchin explained that conscience is the ambit where the Holy Spirit exercises his function."Through this 'organ,' the guidance of the Holy Spirit goes beyond the Church, to all people," specified the preacher.
Reasons of the heart
"In this personal and intimate realm of the conscience, the Holy Spirit instructs us with 'good inspirations,' or 'interior lights,'" he continued, and stimulates us "to follow the good and avoid evil, attractions and inclinations of the heart that cannot be naturally explained, because they are often contrary to the direction that nature would want to take."
However, the Holy Spirit also guides believers through the magisterium of the Church, Father Cantalamessa said."It is just as deadly to try to forego either of the two guides of the Spirit," warned the preacher. "When the interior testimony is neglected, we easily fall into legalism and authoritarianism; when the exterior, apostolic testimony is neglected, we fall into subjectivism and fanaticism.
"When everything is reduced to just the personal, private listening to the Spirit, the path is opened to an unstoppable process of division and subdivision, because everyone believe they are right."
"We should recognize however that there is also the opposite risk," he noted, "that of making the external and public testimony of the Spirit absolute, ignoring the internal testimony that works through the conscience enlightened by grace."
"It is the ideal of a healthy harmony between listening to what the Spirit says to me, as an individual, and what he says to the Church as a whole and through the Church to individuals," said Father Cantalamessa.
The preacher ended by explaining St. Ignatius of Loyola's doctrine on discernment, which seeks to help the believer to choose "between a good and another good."
Father Cantalamessa explained that sometimes "it is about seeing which one is what God wants, in a given situation. It was primarily to respond to this demand that St. Ignatius of Loyola developed his doctrine on discernment. He invites us to look at one thing above all: our own interior dispositions, the intentions (the 'spirits') that are behind a decision."
The preacher summarized the method of St. Ignatius: "When we are faced with two possible choices, it is useful to first consider one of them, as if we must follow it, and to stay in that state for a day or more; then we should evaluate how our heart reacts to that choice: Is there peace, harmony with the rest of our own decisions; is there something inside of you that encourages you in that direction, or on the contrary has it left a haze of restlessness… Then repeat the process with the second hypothesis. All this should be done in an atmosphere of prayer, abandonment to God's will, and openness to the Holy Spirit."
"The most favorable condition for making a good discernment is the habitual interior disposition to do God's will in every situation," Father Cantalamessa noted.
"Like talented actors," he added "we should tend our ear toward the voice of the prompter that is hidden, so we can faithfully recite our part in the scene of life. It is easier than we think, because our prompter speaks to us from the inside, he teaches us all things, he instructs us in everything. It is enough to just give an interior glance, a movement of our heart, a prayer."
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- The Power of the Resurrection in our Lives: Christ Is Risen; Indeed, He Is Risen!
- What a Day! What a Way, the Easter Way, Alleluia!
- The Surprise of Easter
- Easter Vigil Homily of Pope Francis: Let the Risen Jesus Enter Your Life
- HOLY SATURDAY: The Whole Earth Keeps Silence
- The Resurrecting Power of Mercy
- On the Friday We Call Good, the Whole World Stands Still
- Good Friday Reflection on the Logic of the Cross
- Reflection: Let us Apply the Splint of the Cross to our Fractured Freedom
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
F. K. Bartels - Catholic Online, 4/6/2013
There is great cause for belief in the Resurrection. One of the most wonderful tenets of Catholicism and the true Christian religion the Church transmits, is that the Resurrection is a historical ...Continue Reading
Deacon Keith Fournier - Catholic Online, 4/1/2013
Have you have heard the old adage, used often in a disparaging way, He´s so heavenly he is no earthly good. I suggest again that it misses the mark completely. We are Easter people. We are called to ...Continue Reading
Fr. Randy Sly - Catholic Online, 3/31/2013
To make sure that all mankind knows that it is not over but actually just beginning, God has an Easter bombshell. While we may have been able to anticipate the wondrous joy of a day of resurrection, ...Continue Reading
Pope Francis - Catholic Online, 3/31/2013
Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness... and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »