Redemptoris Missio 28bc: The Holy Spirit, Even Outside The Church

When Pope John Paul II wrote that “The Spirit Is Present and Active in Every Time and Place,” would you believe he looks past the boundaries of the flock? It’s a human calling:

The Spirit offers the human race” the light and strength to respond to its highest calling”; through the Spirit, “(humankind) attains in faith to the contemplation and savoring of the mystery of God’s design”; indeed, “we are obliged to hold that the Holy Spirit offers everyone the possibility of sharing in the Paschal Mystery in a manner known to God.”(Gaudium et Spes 10, 15, 22) The Church “is aware that humanity is being continually stirred by the Spirit of God and can therefore never be completely indifferent to the problems of religion” and that “people will always…want to know what meaning to give their life, their activity and their death.”(Ibid., 41) The Spirit, therefore, is at the very source of (human) existential and religious questioning, a questioning which is occasioned not only by contingent situations but by the very structure of his being.(Cf. Dominum et Vivificantem 54)

The oft-overlooked corollary of human creation is that we have been made to seek and desire God. Call it DNA, and maybe it is. It might also be a supernatural impulse, but it has been detected and identified in people–not just Christians. It was a teaching of Vatican II:

The Spirit’s presence and activity affect not only the individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions. Indeed, the Spirit is at the origin of the noble ideals and undertakings which benefit humanity on its journey through history: “The Spirit of God with marvelous foresight directs the course of the ages and renews the face of the earth.”(Gaudium et Spes, 26) The risen Christ “is now at work in human hearts through the strength of his Spirit, not only instilling a desire for the world to come but also thereby animating, purifying and reinforcing the noble aspirations which drive the human family to make its life one that is more human and to direct the whole earth to this end.”(Ibid. 38)

Also endorsed in 1986 by Pope John Paul II:

Again, it is the Spirit who sows the “seeds of the Word” present in various customs and cultures, preparing them for full maturity in Christ.(Cf. Lumen Gentium 17; Ad Gentes 3, 15)

This document is available online here and is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in evangelization, Redemptoris Missio. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Redemptoris Missio 28bc: The Holy Spirit, Even Outside The Church

  1. Marian Catholic says:

    The Holy Spirit isn’t impeded by any boundaries.

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