One, Catholic, Universal


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(23 May 10 - RV) "The church is by its nature one and manifold, destined as it is to live among all nations, all peoples, and in various social contexts. It responds to its vocation, to be a sign and instrument of unity for the whole human race. Only if it remains independent from all states and all particular cultures. Always and everywhere the Church must be truly Catholic and Universal, the house that belongs to all peoples where everyone can truly find themselves".

In Mass marking the Feast of Pentecost, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed the nature of the Church, which he said; "precedes "precedes the particular Churches, and they must always conform themselves to it, according to a criterion of unity and universality. The Church never remains a prisoner of political, racial or cultural confines, it is not to be confused with the States and even with the Federation of States, because its unity is different in kind and aims to move through all human boundaries".

Thousands of faithful were gathered in St Peter's Basilica to celebrate the Liturgy of Pentecost with the Pope. Vested in vibrant red, a symbol of the fire of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father went out of his way to greet families as he processed up the centre aisle to the main altar.

In his homily he said: "Christians and particular churches must always compare themselves to and harmonise themselves with that of the one Catholic Church". The church can only be united when it is infused by the fire of the Holy spirit".

"The Apostles, together with believers of different communities, have brought this divine flame to the ends of the Earth, thus they opened a path for humanity... , and they collaborated with God who with his fire wants to renew the face of the earth. How different this fire is from that of war and bombs! How different the fire of Christ is, propagated by the Church, than that of the dictators of every age, even those of the last century, which left behind scorched earth. The fire of God, the fire of the Holy Spirit, is the fire of the bush that rages without burning (cf. Ex 3:2). It is a flame that burns but does not destroy, indeed, its flames bring out the best and truest in man, [..]it reveals his inner form, his call to truth and love"

"And yet the fire of the Holy Spirit transforms us , and so must consume something in man, the waste that corrupts and hinders his relationship with God and neighbour. The effects of the divine fire, frightens us, we are afraid of being 'burned', preferring to stay as we are. This is because often our life is set according to the logic of having, of possession and not giving. Many people believe in God and admire the figure of Jesus Christ, but when they are asked to lose something of themselves, then they draw back, afraid of the demands of faith".

"In losing something, indeed, losing ourselves for the true God, the God of love and life, we actually gain something, we find ourselves more fully. Those who entrust themselves to Jesus in this life experience a peace and joy of heart, that the world can not give them or take away from them once it has been gifted by God. It is therefore worthwhile to allow ourselves to be touched by the fire of the Holy Spirit! The pain that it brings us is necessary for our transformation".
"Therefore, enlightened and comforted by these words of life, we raise our plea: Come, Holy Spirit! Kindle in us the fire of thy love! We know that this is a daring prayer, with which we ask to be touched by the flame of God, but above all we know that this flame - and it alone - has the power to save".