“And so,” he continued, “removing almost every obligation related to the Law, they communicate the final decisions, made — and they write this — by ‘the Holy Spirit and by us’ (cf. Acts 15:28).”
“This is how the apostles always act,” he underlined. “Together, without being divided, despite having different sensitivities and opinions, they listen to the Spirit.”
Pope Francis asked everyone to think about whether they pray often to the Holy Spirit, or if they only speak to Jesus and the Father, or invoke the Virgin Mary and the saints, in their prayers.
“Because, as Church, we can have well-defined times and spaces, well-organized communities, institutes and movements, but without the Spirit, everything remains soulless,” he said. “The organization ... is not enough. It is the Spirit who gives life to the Church.”
“The Church, if it does not pray to him and invoke him, closes in on itself, in sterile and exhausting debates, in wearisome polarizations, while the flame of the mission is extinguished,” he added.
The pope called it sad to see the Church operate as if it is just a parliament, when it is really a community of men and women who believe in and proclaim Jesus Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit, not their own reason.
“The Spirit makes us go out, urges us to proclaim the faith in order to confirm ourselves in the faith, to go on mission to discover who we are,” he said. “That is why the Apostle Paul recommends: ‘Do not quench the Spirit’ (1 Thessalonians 5:19).”
“Let us pray to the Spirit often, let us invoke him, let us ask him every day to kindle his light in us,” he urged. “Let us do this before each encounter, to become apostles of Jesus with the people we find.”