Pope Francis: obstinate Christians are rebels and idolaters (18th Jan. 2016)
See extract of article below. For full article click on following link
In this sermon, PF is simply reinforcing what he has said over and over – “the God of surprises” the “surprises of the Holy Spirit”, and the “newness of the Spirit”.
He doesn’t specify what these surprises are – not yet. At this stage he is preparing us psychologically for changes – i.e. “surprises” – which are to come. They will be drastic and will overhaul all that has ever been part of our practice and Apostolic Tradition. But if we are primed for changes, it will be easier for Catholics/ Christians (who have not discerned the truth) to accept them. And he keeps reminding us to expect them.
Just in case we don’t accept them, he has to convince us that they are from God – so he uses these phrases – the God of surprises: and the “surprises of the Holy Spirit.” Because he has endeared himself to many people – proven to be a man of the modern world, and because he is after all, the pope – whom many people think cannot err – people will swallow it all – hook, line and sinker!
We don’t exactly know what the changes will be– but there are clues. Just read up on what occurred in the Synod. Changes to marriage and laws for who can receive Holy Communion, will change the perception of the Holy Eucharist. There will be a ripple effect and before we know it, we won’t need any Sacraments because we are all children of God; God loves us all, God is infinite mercy, etc.
He mentions “fasting”. I wonder why? He said “there is another reality”. I wonder what it is? Without (prayer and) fasting, a very strong spiritual weapon will be taken away from us. We will fall like a deck of cards.
Just to make it all sound authentic, he uses stories and parables from scripture in a new way to make his point.
People are so gullible. It is so clear! It pains me to the core of my heart and my soul.
Without the Eucharist, how can we possibly have the strength to bear it all?
Jesus mercy, Mary help!
St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us!
Read his homily below ( Monday 18th January):
(Vatican Radio) Christians who say “it’s always been done that way,” and stop there, have hearts closed to the surprises of the Holy Spirit. They are idolaters and rebels will never arrive at the fullness of the truth. That was the message of Pope Francis at Mass on Monday morning at the chapel in the Casa Santa Marta.
In the first reading, Saul was rejected by God as King of Israel because he disobeyed, preferring to listen to the people rather than the will of God. The people, after a victory in battle, wanted to offer a sacrifice of the best animals to God, because, he said, “it’s always been done that way.” But God, this time, did not want that. The prophet Samuel rebuked Saul: “Does the Lord so delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obedience to the command of the Lord?” Jesus teaches us the same thing in the Gospel, the Pope explained. When the doctors of the law criticized Him because His disciples did not fast “as had always been done,” Jesus responded with these examples from daily life: “No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
“What does this mean? That He changes the law? No! That the law is at the service of man, who is at the service of God – and so man ought to have an open heart. ‘It’s always been done this way’ is a closed heart, and Jesus tells us, ‘I will send you the Holy Spirit and He will lead you into the fullness of truth.’ If you have a heart closed to the newness of the Spirit, you will never reach the full truth. And your Christian life will be a half-and-half life, a patched life, mended with new things, but on a structure that is not open to the voice of the Lord—a closed heart, so that you are not able to change the wineskins.”
This, the Pope emphasized, was the sin of Saul, for which he was rejected by God. “It is the sin of so many Christians who cling to what has always been done and who do not change the wineskins. And they end up with half a life, [a life that is] patched, mended, meaningless.” The sin, he said, “is a closed heart,” that “does not hear the voice of the Lord, that is not open to the newness of the Lord, to the Spirit that always surprises us.” This rebellion, says Samuel, is “the sin of divination,” and obstinacy is the sin of idolatry:
“Christians who obstinately maintain ‘it’s always been done this way,’ this is the path, this is the street—they sin: the sin of divination. It’s as if they went about by guessing: ‘What has been said and what doesn’t change is what’s important; what I hear—from myself and my closed heart—more than the Word of the Lord.’ Obstinacy is also the sin of idolatry: the Christian who is obstinate sins! The sin of idolatry. ‘And what is the way, Father?’ Open the heart to the Holy Spirit, discern what is the will of God.”
Pope Francis noted that in Jesus’ time, good Israelites were in the habit of fasting. “But there is another reality,” he said. “There is the Holy Spirit who leads us into the full truth. And for this reason he needs an open heart, a heart that will not stubbornly remain in the sin of idolatry of oneself,” imagining that my own opinion is more important than the surprise of the Holy Spirit.
“This is the message the Church gives us today. This is what Jesus says so forcefully: ‘New wine in new wineskins.’ Habits must be renewed in the newness of the Spirit, in the surprises of God. May the Lord grant us the grace of an open heart, of a heart open to the voice of the Spirit, which knows how to discern what should not change, because it is fundamental, from what should change in order to be able to receive the newness of the Spirit.”