During his general audience address Pope Francis spoke on the Holy Spirit’s gift of knowledge, explaining that it enlightens our human perspective and helps us to see God in the whole of creation.
“The gift of knowledge puts us in tune with God’s gaze on things and on people” the Pope reflected in his May 21 weekly general audience, continuing his catechesis on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“Through this spiritual gift, we are enabled to see every person, and the world around us, in the light of God’s loving plan.”
Addressing the thousands gathered in St. Peter’s Square, the Roman Pontiff noted that “This knowledge does not limit itself to the human knowledge of nature,” but instead “allows us to perceive the greatness of God and his love for his creatures” through creation.
“In a sense, we see the beauty, harmony and goodness of all creation with the eyes of God its maker” he continued, observing that “As is clear from the lives of Saint Francis of Assisi and so many other saints, the gift of knowledge gives rise to grateful contemplation of the world of nature and joyful praise of the Creator.”
Noting how “the beauty and immensity of creation speaks to us of the Creator and invites us to worship him,” the Pope drew attention to the bible’s account of creation in Genesis, saying that it “underscores that God himself was happy with his work: all was good and man was ‘very good.’”
This gift, he went on, teaches us to “exercise wise stewardship” over our resources “for the benefit of the whole human family.”
He then described how the gift of knowledge also “prevents us from restricting our vision to the persons and things of this world alone, forgetting that in their order, value and beauty they point beyond themselves to God,” who is “their source and ultimate end.”
Seeing with the vision of God, he explained, is “A kind and respectful gaze that warns us of the danger of believing we are the total owners of creation, disposing of it as we like and without limits.”
“Creation is not our property, and much less of just a few. It is rather a gift that God has given us so that we take care of it and use it with respect for the benefit of all.”
Bringing his reflections to a close, the Roman Pontiff encouraged those present to ask the Holy Spirit “to help us grow in the knowledge which enables us to perceive the love with which God guides the world, to respond with gratitude and to praise him for his infinite goodness and love.”
“May we see everything around us as God's work, and our fellow men as brothers and sisters.”
Speaking of his upcoming trip to the Holy Land, Pope Francis noted how "this Saturday, I will travel to the Holy Land, the Land of Jesus."
"It will be a strictly religious trip" he explained, stating that "in first place I will meet my brother Bartholomew the First, as a homage for the 50th anniversary of the encounter between Paul VI and Athenagoras I."
"Peter and Andrew will meet again and this is beautiful! The second reason for this trip is to pray for peace on this Land that suffers so much. I ask you to pray for this trip."
Following his address Pope Francis made a series of appeals, asking attendees to pray for victims of the floods ravishing the Balkans, for Catholics in China and for the first-ever Burmese native who be beatified Saturday, May 31, in Aversa, Italy.
“My thoughts go out again to the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, who have been hard hit by floods, with subsequent loss of life, numerous people displaced and extensive damage,” he stated.
“Unfortunately, the situation has worsened, so I invite you to join me in prayer for the victims and all those who are suffering from this calamity. Let our solidarity and the concrete support of the international community not be lacking to these our brothers and sisters.”
Going on, the Pope noted that May 24 marks the celebration of the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians, “who is venerated with great devotion at the Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai.”
“I ask all the faithful to pray that, under the protection of the Mother Help of Christians, Catholics in China continue to believe, to hope, to love and to be, in all circumstances, a leaven of harmonious coexistence among their fellow citizens.”
Finally the Bishop of Rome spoke of the upcoming beatification of Fr. Mario Vergara and the lay catechist Isidore Ngei Ko Lat who were killed in 1950 in Burma, out of hatred for the Christian faith.
The pontiff prayed that “their heroic fidelity to Christ be an encouragement and example to missionaries,” especially “catechists in mission lands who carry out important and irreplaceable Apostolic work, for which the whole Church is grateful.”