Vatican City, May 8, 2013 / 04:20 am
The Holy Spirit is the "living water" that fulfills our lives because he tells us "we are loved by God," Pope Francis proclaimed.
"The living water that is the Holy Spirit quenches our lives because it tells us that we are loved by God as His children, that we can love God as his children, and that by his grace we can live as children of God, as did Jesus," the Pope said May 8.
The pontiff offered his reflections on the Holy Spirit to the estimated 70,000 pilgrims who filled St. Peter's Square for his weekly general audience, which took place on a sunny day with mostly clear skies.
As he made his way through the crowd he got out of the popemobile several times before reaching a section of children with Down Syndrome near the front of the square. Pope Francis made his way up the length of the aisle, shaking hands, kissing the disabled and occasionally blowing a kiss.
He then walked up the steps to his chair and began his address to the throng by noting that the Church is currently living in the season of Easter, which is the "time par excellence of the Holy Spirit."
Pope Francis has been reflecting on different phrases from the Nicene Creed at his Wednesday audiences, continuing a course of teaching that was initiated by Benedict XVI for the Year of Faith.
Today he looked at the statement, "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life," emphasizing that the Spirit is "truly God" and the "third Person of the Blessed Trinity."
"But I would like to focus on the fact that the Holy Spirit is the inexhaustible source of God's life in us," the Pope explained as he launched into the substance of his address.
"Man is like a traveler who, crossing the deserts of life, has a thirst for living water, gushing and fresh, capable of quenching his deep desire for light, love, beauty and peace.
"We all feel this desire!" Pope Francis exclaimed.
"And Jesus gives us this living water: it is the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and who Jesus pours into our hearts," he said.
The Pope recalled the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, whom he told that he would give "eternally abundant 'living water'" to all those who recognize him as the Son sent by the Father to save us."
The living water, who is the Holy Spirit, makes it so that "our life may be guided by God, may be animated by God, may be nourished by God.
"When we say that a Christian is a spiritual man, this is what we mean: a Christian is a person who thinks and acts according to God, according to the Holy Spirit," the Pope explained.
Pope Francis finished his meditation by delving into how the Holy Spirit can "quench our deep thirst."
"The 'living water,' the Holy Spirit, the Gift of the Risen One who comes to dwell in us, cleanses us, enlightens us, renews us, transforms us by rendering us partakers of the very life of God who is Love," he responded.
The Holy Father taught that the "precious gift that the Holy Spirit brings into our hearts" is "the very life of God, the life of true children, a relationship of familiarity, freedom and trust in the love and mercy of God."
This new life within believers has the effect of giving them a "new vision of others, near and far, seen always as brothers and sisters in Jesus to be respected and loved," he said.
"That's why the living water that is the Holy Spirit quenches our lives because it tells us that we are loved by God as his children, that we can love God as his children, and that by his grace we can live as children of God, as did Jesus."
"And us? Do we listen to the Holy Spirit who tells us: God loves you? Do we really love God and others as Jesus did?" he concluded.