By CAROL GLATZ, Catholic News Service | Published May 15, 2023
VATICAN CITY (CNS)–The Holy Spirit consoles, defends and tenderly corrects those who turn to and listen to him, Pope Francis said.
The Holy Spirit “is not a passing guest who comes to pay us a courtesy visit. He is a companion for life, a stable presence” who “desires to dwell in our spirits,” he said May 14.
“He is patient and stays with us even when we fall,” the pope said. “He does not pretend to love us and then leaves us alone when things get difficult. No. He is faithful, he is transparent, he is authentic.”
Before reciting the midday “Regina Coeli” prayer with about 25,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis spoke about the day’s Gospel reading, John 14:15-21, in which Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit as an advocate and consoler.
“The Holy Spirit never leaves us alone, he is near to us, like an advocate who assists the accused person, standing by his or her side,” the pope said. “And he suggests to us how to defend ourselves from those who accuse us.”
“Let us recall that the great accuser is always the devil, who puts sin inside of you, the desire to sin, wickedness,” he added.
During times of trouble, he said, “the Holy Spirit consoles us, bringing us God’s pardon and strength. And when he places our errors before us and corrects us, he does so gently” with the warmth of love that speaks to the heart.
Like a true friend, the Spirit does not hide the truth and he “suggests what needs to change and where growth needs to take place,” the pope said. “But when he corrects us, he never humiliates us and never instills distrust. Rather, he conveys the certainty that with God, we can always make it.”
The Holy Spirit “defends us from those who accuse us: from ourselves when we do not appreciate and forgive ourselves” and from the devil who accuses, divides and “does everything to make us feel incapable and unhappy,” Pope Francis said.
“If we call on the Spirit, we will learn to embrace and recall the most important truth of life that protects us from the accusations of the evil one,” he said. “What is the most important truth in life? That we are beloved children of God,” and “the Spirit reminds us of this.”