Conversion is a daily duty —always open to the Holy Spirit…
(CUSA)- If think think you are opening the door to heaven yourself, you are mistaken.
But rest assured that you can start closing the door by fading away from the Lord and stop the training that he has provided for us. —Ed.
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2015
Brothers and Sisters,
The efforts of Christians are aimed at opening the door of the heart to the Holy Spirit.
Saint Paul uses the image of the athlete, the man who trains in order to prepare himself for game, and makes a great effort. This is what an athlete does to win a match; but what about us, who should be striving to win that great victory of Heaven? What should we do? Saint Paul exhorts us to go forward with this effort.
Ah, Father, are we able to think that sanctification comes through the effort I make, like the victory that comes to sportsmen comes through training? No. The efforts we make, this daily work of serving the Lord with our soul, with our heart, with our body, with our whole life only opens the door to the Holy Spirit.
It is He who enters into us and saves us! He is the gift in Jesus Christ! Otherwise, we think that we open the door with our efforts.We don’t.
This is a difficult task, because our weakness, original sin, the devil are always trying to get us to turn back. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews warns us against this temptation to turn back; he warns us not to go back, not to fall. We need to continue to go forward a little bit each day, even when there is great difficulty.
A few months ago, I met a woman. Young, the mother of a family – a beautiful family – who had cancer. An ugly cancer. But she moved with happiness, she acted like she was healthy. And speaking about this attitude, she told me, “Father, I would do anything to beat the cancer!”
It’s that way with the Christian. We have received this gift in Jesus Christ and we have passed from sin, from the life of iniquity to the life of the gift in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, we must do the same. Every day a step. Every day a step.
With some temptations – such as the desire to gossip about others, you need to make the effort to be silent.
Otherwise, if we don’t work to overcome temptations, there comes a little bit of slumber, and we won’t have the will to pray, but then we try to pray a little bit.
These small efforts help us not to fall, not to go back, not to return to iniquity, but to go forward toward this gift, this promise of Jesus Christ which is precisely the encounter with Him.
Let us ask this grace from the Lord: to be strong, to be strong in this training of life towards the encounter, that we might receive the gift of justification, the gift of grace, the gift of the Spirit in Christ Jesus.
Translation from Vatican Radio