Pope: Get a spiritual EKG to make sure heart pulsates with Holy Spirit

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Never speak, act or make a decision
without first listening to the Holy Spirit, who moves, troubles and inspires
the heart, Pope Francis advised.

A cold and calculating heart that is closed to the Holy
Spirit results in a faith that is “ideological,” he said May 29
during a morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Knowing God and his commandments, and being good are not
enough, the pope said. One must also receive God’s gift of the Holy Spirit and
let him “trouble” the heart.

If people were to get a “spiritual electrocardiogram,”
the pope asked, would it be flatlined because the heart is hardened, unmoved
and emotionless or would it be pulsating with the prompting and prods of the

“Am I able to listen him? Am I able to ask for his
inspiration before making a decision or saying something or doing something? Or
is my heart serene, without emotion, an immobile heart,” much like the
doctors of the law had, he asked.

“They believed in God, they knew all the
commandments, but the heart was closed, immobile, they didn’t let it become troubled,”
the pope said.

A Christian cannot just listen to their head and
calculated reason, he said. They must learn to listen and discern what the Holy
Spirit is saying to their hearts, too, “because the Holy Spirit is the
master of discernment.”

“A person who does not have this movement in the
heart, who doesn’t discern what is happening, is a person who has a cold faith,
an ideological faith,” he said.

The pope asked people to reflect on their relationship
with the Holy Spirit and pray that the Spirit guide them in the choices they make.
“I ask that he give me the grace to distinguish the good from the less
good because good can be distinguished from evil easily,” the pope said.

At morning Mass the next day, May 30, Pope Francis reflected on how
pastors and bishops must be ready to leave their flock and follow God’s call to
head somewhere completely unknown.

A real pastor, he said, knows how to let go of the church
he once served because he knows he is not the protagonist or “central
focus of the story.”

He must see his life as having no importance to himself,
and do everything to serve God and his people “without compromise”
and with courage, the pope said.

Priests and bishops must be open to and obey the Holy
Spirit because “the pastor knows that he is on a journey.”

Ministers will be like Paul, who was called to leave the
church at Ephesus and head to Jerusalem, where “what will happen there I
do not know,” except that he had been warned hardships and trouble would
await him.

Every apostle of Christ must guide his flock without
compromise, being ready to leave everything behind and head into the unknown,
the pope said. He always must serve the people without ever misleading or
improperly using them by making them think he is the “central focus of the

A pastor who does not learn to leave his post well does
not have a good relationship with his flock and has formed “a bond that is
not purified by the cross of Jesus,” the pope said.

– – –

Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

Original Article