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Pope Francis: audience, the Spirit is “author of diversity and creator of unity”, “He creates harmony”

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

“The one Spirit pours out His many gifts that enrich the one Church: He is the author of diversity, but at the same time the creator of unity”. Pope Francis stressed this in the catechesis of today’s General Audience, during which he focused on the “intimate connection” of the Sacrament of Confirmation “with the whole Christian initiation”. “So the Spirit gives all these gifts, which are different, but at the same time He creates harmony, i.e. the unity of all spiritual gifts that we have as Christians”, Pope Francis added off the cuff. “Before receiving the spiritual anointing which confirms and strengthens the grace of Baptism, the confirmands are called to renew the promises made by their parents and godparents at their Baptism”, he recalled, retracing the stages of the rite: “Now they themselves profess the faith of the Church, ready to answer ‘I do’” when the Bishop asks them to affirm their creedal faith; they are “ready, in particular, to believe in the Holy Spirit, who is the Lord and giver of life, and that today, by means of the Sacrament of Confirmation, in a special way is given to them, just as it was given to the apostles on Pentecost day”. “Since the coming of the Spirit requires hearts to be joined in prayer, after the silent prayer of the community, the Bishop, holding his hands over those to be confirmed, calls upon God to pour out His Holy Spirit Paraclete upon them”, the Pope continued: “One is the Spirit, but when He comes to us, He gives us the wealth of His gifts – wisdom, intellect, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord”. “We have listened to the Biblical passage about these gifts of the Holy Spirit”, Pope Francis added off the cuff, referring to the reading read out earlier. “According to the Prophet Isaiah, these are the seven virtues that the Spirit poured out on the Messiah for the fulfilment of His mission”, the Pope said: “Even Saint Paul describes the abundant fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”.

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