by BCBP Editor

Warns Against Worldly Spirit that Robs Us of Free Will

The spirit of the world wants us to have a single, uniform thought rather than the freedom to discern through the Spirit. This was the reflection on the Gospel that Pope Francis gave during his homily at Casa Santa Marta on November 29, 2013.
signs of the times
Speaking on Christ’s call to “read the signs of the times”, the Holy Father told those present that to discern the passing of God through history, one must think with their mind, heart and soul.

“The Lord wants us to understand what is happening: what is happening in my heart, what is happening in my life, what is happening in the world, in history,” he said. “These are the signs of the times!”

However, the spirit of the world, he warned, does not want us to discern things in this way, but rather it wants us “to be a mass of people, without thought, without freedom.” The Pope emphasized that the spirit of the world wants a single, weak thought that deprives one of their free will.

“The spirit of the world does not want us to ask ourselves before God: ‘But why this, why that, why does this happen?’ Or even it proposes a prêt-à-porter (ready to wear) thought, according to our own tastes: ‘I think the way I like!’,” he said.

Jesus, he continued, wants us to not only think freely but to understand what is happening in our lives and around us. But, in order to discover the truth, one cannot do it without the help of the Lord.

“It is beautiful to ask the Lord Jesus this grace, that He may send us His spirit of intelligence, so that we may not have a weak thought, that we may not have a uniform thought and not have a thought according to our own tastes: we only have a thought according to God,” he said.

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray to God and ask for “the capacity that the Spirit gives us to understand well the signs of the time.” Source: VATICAN CITY, November 29, 2013 (

A CLOSING THOUGHT FOR REFLECTION: “The times are bad! The times are troublesome!” This is what humans say. But we are our times. Let us live well and our times will be good. Such as we are, such are our times.” – St. Augustine

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