During his weekly general audience address Pope Francis reflected on the Holy Spirit’s gift of counsel, explaining that through it we learn to be docile to the Lord, rather than attached to our own ideas. “It illuminates our heart and makes us more sensitive to the voice of the Spirit, so that we do not get carried away in our thoughts, feelings and intentions by selfishness or our own way of looking at things, but by the will of God,” the Pope observed during his May 7 general audience. Addressing the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter’s Square to hear his discourse, the Roman Pontiff continued his catechesis on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, explaining that “now we turn to the gift of counsel.” “This is the gift with which the Holy Spirit helps us to make decisions in our concrete lives, following the logic of Jesus and his Gospel” he noted, adding that through it “God enlightens our hearts and directs our thoughts, words and actions in accordance with his saving will.” In leading us toward Jesus, and through him to God the Father, “the Holy Spirit guides us in our daily interaction with others and enables us to make right decisions in the light of faith” the Pope continued. By the gift of counsel we “grow in the virtue of prudence, learning to overcome our self-centeredness and to see all things with the eyes of Christ,” the Bishop of Rome stated, and at the same time it “leads us to conform more and more to Jesus, as a model of our actions and our relation with God, and with our brothers.” “What can we do to be more docile to this gift of Counsel?” he asked, observing that “The essential condition is prayer.” “Thanks to the intimacy with God and to the hearing of his Word, a profound harmony with God matures in us and leads us to ask ourselves constantly: What is it that the Lord desires? What is his will? What is it that pleases him?” Like the other spiritual gifts, counsel also “constitutes a treasure for the whole Christian community,” the Pope went on to say, adding that not only does God speak to us “in the intimacy of the heart,” but also by “the voice and testimony of the faith of our brothers, who help us to see more clearly and to recognize the will of God.” Offering thanks for the gift of counsel, Pope Francis prayed that all might “seek to support one another along the path of faith, as we seek to be ever more docile to the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts.” “May the intercession of the Virgin Mary, in this month of May, help us to live out Christian lives with more docility to the voice and love of the Holy Spirit.” Concluding his address, the Roman Pontiff extended personal greetings to pilgrims present from various countries around the world, including England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Slovakia, Korea, the Philippines, China, India, Canada, the United States, Spain, México, Guatemala, Colombia, Per√∫, Uruguay, Venezuela and Argentina. He also gave special welcome to the family and friends of the 30 young men who made an oath and became Swiss Guards during yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony.
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