THIS is a question properly asked of Roman Catholics (and Aglipayans, Episcopalians and other members of mainstream Christian denominations).
But it could also apply to social and government bodies peopled by members or delegates whose majority are believers in God. For although come Christian sects and other religions do not call God the Holy Spirit by the name Jesus gave His and His Father’s spirit of Love and Wisdom, these sects all want Divine Love and Wisdom to rule, guide and console them. And even non-church bodies, like the House and the Senate, and their committees, ought to be guided by the Divine Spirit of Love, Wisdom, Truth and Unity.
The Holy Father Pope Francis last Friday May 8 dwelt on this subject in his homily during morning Mass at Casa San Marta.
He spoke these strong words: “A Church where its people are always arguing and there are lobbies and people are betraying their brothers and sisters, is a Church where there is no Holy Spirit!”
The Pope reflected on the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, which narrates how the Christian community split between those who called themselves Christians but remained attached to Jewish laws and wanted to impose these on the other early Christians (many of whom were not Jews). St. Paul of Tarsus opposed the pro-Jewish Party’s impositions.
Pope Francis also spoke about the First Council of Jerusalem’s outcome in which the early Christian community succeeded, through the Holy Spirit, to dialogue, resolve differences of opinion and reach an agreement.
“They discuss this issue but like brothers and sisters and not like enemies. They don’t form external lobbies in order to win, they don’t go to the civil authorities in order to win and they don’t kill in order to triumph. They seek the path of prayer and dialogue.”
The Holy Father said there are discussions within the Church the aim of which is to seek and arrive at unity. Churches should not be places where people are always “clashing, betraying each other and forming lobbies to win their argument.”
He reminded the people present that “The Holy Spirit has the power to create unity among all the members of the Church, for the Spirit brings change and moves things forward in the Church.”
Granting that sometimes this movement stirred by the Holy Spirit may at first appear to be confusing, Pope Francis said that if the change or movement is welcomed with prayer and a spirit of dialogue, it always generates unity between Christians.
“A Church where there are never problems of this type makes me think that the Holy Spirit is not very present within it,” he said.
He stressed that “It’s the Spirit which creates change, which creates the momentum for going ahead, that creates new spaces, that creates that wisdom which Jesus promised: ‘It will teach you!’”
He said, it’s the Holy Spirit Who “creates the harmonious unity between everyone.”
He ended the homily by asking the congregation to ask Jesus, “who will be present among us, to always send the Holy Spirit to us, to each one of us.”
He led the people in praying: “May He send it to the Church and may the Church always know how to be faithful to the movement that the Holy Spirit creates.”
Those involved in promoting or opposing the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law should reflect on these points.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Love, Wisdom, Truth and Unity.
The discussions and polemics on the BBL have been attended by gross untruthfulness and lack of wisdom and charity (which is love).
These virtues are of course difficult to uphold when the leader of the administration seeking the passage of the BBL in its original form despite its being unconstitutional is prepared to lie, intimidate and bribe our lawmakers.
But good Christians in Congress must not falter in living up to their faith and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.