Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Pope Francis style:
In the May 21, 2014, Wednesday Audience on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, (this week focusing on The Gift of Knowledge), Pope Francis spoke several times about various gifts God offers us.
First, let us examine the idea of gift. Each of us has experienced physically receiving a gift especially on a special occasion such as a Birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, or Graduation. Although I very much enjoy receiving an anticipated gift, I must admit some of my fondest gift memories come from those given without reason or expectation, those unexpected packages in the mail or the little fist full of wilting dandelions and buttercups. That special intention offered as gift, given from the heart, for no other reason than love for you. Those are the most precious, the most cherished, the purist manifestation of a heart devoted to another.
It is, for me, those gifts that mimic most closely the heart of God exhibited in the gifts Pope Francis mentioned in his Wednesday Audience.
The Gift of Knowledge
Pope Francis explained, “The knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit, however, is not limited to human knowledge: it is a special gift, which allows us to grasp, through Creation, the greatness and love of God and His profound relationship with every creature.”
A similar idea is expressed in the Vatican I document, Dei Fillius which says the following about how we can know God:
“The same Holy mother Church holds and teaches that God, the source and end of all things, can be known with certainty from the consideration of created things, by the natural power of human reason: ever since the creation of the world, his invisible nature has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. It was, however, pleasing to his wisdom and goodness to reveal himself and the eternal laws of his will to the human race by another, and that a supernatural, way. This is how the Apostle puts it: In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.”
The Beauty and Goodness of all Things
St. Therese said, “Everything is grace” (Her Last Conversations, p. 57). I would surmise, after pondering Pope Francis thought-pausing audience today, in addition, everything is gift.
Copyright, Allison Gingras (First appeared in Front Row with Francis on Catholiclane.com), 2014