When was the Trinity made a doctrine?



Library in the Apostolic Palace
Wednesday March 17th 2021



Dear brothers and sisters, good afternoon!

Today we are completing catechesis on prayer as a relationship with the Most Holy Trinity, especially the Holy Spirit. The first gift of any Christian existence is the Holy Spirit. He is not one gift among many, but "the" fundamental gift. The Spirit is the gift that Jesus promised us to send. Without the Spirit there is no relationship with Christ and the Father. For the spirit opens our heart to the presence of God and draws it into that "vortex" of love that is the heart of God. We are not only guests and pilgrims on the way on this earth, we are also guests and pilgrims in the mystery of the Trinity. We are like Abraham, who one day when he took three companions into his tent, met God.

If we are in truth allowed to call God and call him "Abba - Father", it is because the Holy Spirit dwells in us; It is he who transforms us in depth and lets us experience the moving joy of being loved by God as true children. Everything that goes on spiritually in us and leads us to God is done by the Holy Spirit, this gift. He is at work in us to advance our Christian life to the Father, with Jesus.

The Catechism says in this context: “Every time we begin to pray to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, by his gracious grace, lures us into the path of prayer. He teaches us to pray by reminding us of Christ; then how should we not pray to himself too? Therefore the Church invites us to supplicate the Holy Spirit every day, especially at the beginning and at the end of every important activity ”(n. 2670). This is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. He "reminds" us of Jesus and makes him present - we can say that he is our triune memory, he is the memory of God in us - and he makes Jesus present so that he is not reduced to a person of the past: The Spirit makes Jesus present in our consciousness. If Christ were only far away in time, we would be alone and lost in the world. Yes, we would remember Jesus there, in the distance, but it is the Spirit that brings him into our hearts today, now, right now. But everything is brought to life in the Spirit: Christians of all times and places have the opportunity to meet Christ. The possibility is open to encounter Christ not only as a historical person. No: He draws Christ into our hearts, the Spirit makes us meet Christ. He is not far away, the Spirit is with us: Christ is still educating his disciples by transforming their hearts, as he did with Peter, with Paul, with Mary Magdalene, with all the apostles. But why is Jesus present? Because the Spirit brings him into us. Many prayers have had this experience: men and

Women shaped by the Holy Spirit according to the "measure" of Christ, in mercy, in service, in prayer, in catechesis ... It is a grace to meet such people: you notice that another life pulsates in them, that their gaze goes "beyond". Let us not only think of the monks, of the hermits; they are also found among ordinary people: people who have had a long history of dialogue with God, sometimes of inner struggle that purifies faith. These humble witnesses sought God in the Gospel, in the Eucharist received and adored, in the face of the brother in need, and they keep his presence like a secret fire.

The first task of Christians is to use this fire that Jesus brought to earth (cf. Lk 12:49) alive. And what is this fire? It's love, the love of God, the Holy Spirit. Without the fire of the Spirit, prophecy is extinguished, sadness supplants joy, habit replaces love, service becomes bondage. I remember the image of the lamp lit next to the tabernacle where the Eucharist is kept. Even if the church empties and evening falls, even if the church is closed, this lamp remains lit, it continues to burn: no one sees it, and yet it burns before the Lord. It is the same with the spirit in our heart: it is always present, like that lamp.

In the catechism it is also written: “The Holy Spirit, whose anointing fills our whole being, is the inner teacher of Christian prayer. He is the author of the living tradition of prayer. As many ways of praying can be found as there are praying people, but the same spirit works in everyone and with everyone. In the communion of the Holy Spirit, Christian prayer is prayer in the Church ”(n. 2672). Often it happens that we do not pray, do not feel like praying, or often we pray with our mouths like parrots, but the heart is distant. This is the moment to say to the Spirit, “Come, come, Holy Spirit, warm my heart. Come and teach me to pray, teach me to look at the Father, to look at the Son. Teach me the way of faith. Teach me to love, and most importantly, teach me to have an attitude of hope. ”The point is to constantly call on the Spirit so that it may be present in our lives.

So it is the Spirit that writes the history of the Church and the world. We are open pages, ready to be written on with his handwriting. And in each of us the Spirit writes very own works, for there is never a Christian who is completely the same as another. In the infinite field of holiness one leaves

God, the triune love, the diversity of the witnesses flourish: all equal in dignity but unique in the beauty that the Spirit allows to emerge from all those whom the mercy of God has made his children. Let us not forget that the spirit is present, it is present in us. Let us listen to the spirit, let us call to the spirit - it is the gift, the gift that God has given us - and we say to him: "Holy Spirit, I do not know what your face looks like - we do not know it -, but I know that you are the power, that you are the light, that you are able to let me go ahead and teach me to pray. Come, Holy Spirit. "It's a beautiful prayer:" Come, Holy Spirit. "


This week I was concerned about the news that came from Paraguay. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Miracles of Caacupé, I ask the Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, that a way of sincere dialogue may be found in order to find appropriate solutions to the present difficulties and thus to build together the much-longed for peace. Let us remember that violence is always self-destructive. You don't gain anything with it, you lose a lot, sometimes everything.

Once again, and with great sadness, I feel the urgent need to draw attention to the dramatic situation in Myanmar, where many people, especially young people, are losing their lives in order to give hope to their country. I too kneel down on the streets of Myanmar and say: May the violence end! I too spread my arms and say: May the dialogue win! The blood does not provide a solution. May the dialogue win.


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Dear German-speaking brothers and sisters, we ask every day for the gift of God, the Holy Spirit, who reminds us of everything that Jesus said and did and helps us to think, speak and act in the spirit of God. I wish you a continued blessed Lent.