Get Back to the Basics, says Pope Francis

It’s time to get back to the basics. That was the message of the Holy Father’s general weekly audience, says Relevant Radio Rome Correspondent Ashley Noronha.

Continuing his teaching on St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, Pope Francis spoke about the need to look for Christ rather than “religious security”, saying, “Paul asks the Galatians to return to what is essential – to return to God, to the essential, not to the securities of God.”

“Of course the most basic of all things in Christianity is love,” explained Noronha. “[Pope Francis] said it’s love that attracts and that can change the human heart.”

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Rather than focusing on “rules and regulations”, the Pope wants Catholics to look to what is essential. And what is most essential? God Himself, of course!

If anyone feels like they are struggling to remain grounded in Christ, the Holy Father “encourages them to place themselves in front of Christ crucified in the Holy Mass or in adoration of the Holy Eucharist,” Noronha said to Morning Air host John Morales in her weekly “Relevant in Rome” segment.

Saint Paul challenges us to walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:16) and be led by the Spirit (Gal 5:18), the fruits of which are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). Living out these gifts is our “baptismal calling”, says Pope Francis.

The Holy Father suggests that we reflect on the fruits of the Spirit, and see how our own life measures up.

“It can be a good spiritual exercise, for example, to read Saint Paul’s list and take a look at our own behavior to see if it corresponds, if we are truly living according to the Holy Spirit, if we are bearing these fruits. These fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control: does my life bear these fruits?”

In considering these questions, each of us has the opportunity to grow in our openness to the Spirit working in our lives. When we do that, we make room to allow the fruits of the Spirit to manifest themselves in all that we do.

Listen to the Relevant in Rome podcast for more from Ashley Noronha about this week’s general audience. Find a new episode weekly on the Relevant Radio app!

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.