Fr. Cantalamessa’s Meditation on the Holy Spirit

Posted by Censor Librorum on Apr 11, 2009 | Categories: Faith

When people forget that the Holy Spirit speaks directly to individual consciences and not only through the church, there is a risk that laypeople would be pushed to the margins of the church’s life, the papal preacher told Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials.

“The ideal is a healthy harmony between listening to that which the Spirit tells me, individually, and that which the Spirit tells the church as a whole and, through the church, what it tells individuals,” said Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household. homeimmagineraniero

In his weekly Lenten meditation   March 27th for the pope and his closest collaborators, Father Cantalamessa focused on a passage from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans: “Those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”

The Holy Spirit, he said, speaks through individual consciences and through the church.

Through the conscience, he said, “the guidance of the Holy Spirit extends even outside the church to all men and women.”

But, the Holy Spirit also speaks through the church, Cantalamessa added. “The interior witness of the Holy Spirit (in consciences) must be joined to that external, visible and objective witness which is the apostolic teaching” of the popes and the church.

“When this is reduced only to the personal, private listening of an individual, the path is open to an unstoppable process of divisions and subdivisions because each person believes he or she is right.”

“But we also must recognize that the opposite risk exists: that of absolutizing the external and public witness of the Spirit.”

“In other words, there is a risk of reducing the guidance of the Paraclete to only the official teaching of the church, impoverishing the varied action of the Holy Spirit.   In this case the human, organizational and institutional elements prevail, the passivity of the members is encouraged and the door is opened to the marginalization of the laity and the excessive clericalization of the church,” Father Cantalamessa said.

Father Raniero Cantalamessa’s website can be found here.

Did the Holy Father, and members of his household in attendance, contemplate that the witness of Call to Action, Dignity, Quest, Voice of the Faithful, theologians like Dr. Dan McGuire and Fr. Charles Curran, prophets like Dr. Mary E. Hunt and Sr. Jeannine Gramick, all the men who are listed on the blogroll of this site, and the thousands of gay and lesbian Catholics everywhere…are heeding the voice of the Spirit?

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3 Responses to “Fr. Cantalamessa’s Meditation on the Holy Spirit”

  1. Thom Says:

    Thank you for this, Karen.

    And Happy Easter!

    (I’m still riding high from the Vigil.)


  2. Póló Says:

    Sounds to me like an unnecessarily complicated exposition of the informed conscience.

  3. Christine, NY Says:

    “Unnecessarily complicated exposition of the informed conscience”? I would say that some exposition needs to be made and re-made, especially in the context of an over-active and over-reaching Magisterium.

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