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The new law in Christ and the desires according to the Spirit.

Catechesis by Pope Francis on the Commandments
General Audience, Wednesday 28 November 2018 - in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
In today’s catechesis, which concludes the series on the Ten Commandments, we can take as the key theme that of desires, which allows us to review the journey we have made and summarize the stages we have completed in reading the text of the Decalogue, always in the light of the full revelation in Christ.

We began with gratitude as the basis of the relationship of trust and obedience: God, as we saw, asked for nothing before he had given much more. He invites us to obedience in order to deliver us from the misleading forms of idolatry that have so much power over us. Indeed, seeking self-realization in the idols of this world empties us and enslaves us, while what gives us stature and consistency is the relationship with the One who, in Christ, makes us children by virtue of his fatherhood (cf. Eph 3:14-16).

This entails a process of blessing and liberation, which is true, authentic rest. As the Psalm states: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation” (Ps 62[61]:1).

This liberated life embraces our personal history and reconciles us with what, from childhood to the present, we have experienced, becoming adults and being able to give the proper weight to the realities and the people in our life. By this path we enter a relationship with our neighbour which, springing from the love that God demonstrates in Jesus Christ, is a call to the beauty of fidelity, generosity and authenticity.

But to live in this way — that is, in the beauty of fidelity, generosity and authenticity — we need a new heart, inhabited by the Holy Spirit (cf. Ez 11:19; 36:26). I wonder: how does this heart ‘transplant’, from an old heart to a new heart, come about? Through the gift of new desires (cf. Rom 8:6) that are sown in us by the grace of God, in a particular way, through the Ten Commandments fulfilled by Jesus, as he teaches in the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ (cf. Mt 5:15-48). Indeed, in contemplating the life described in the Decalogue — that is, a grateful, free, authentic, blessed, adult existence, as guardian and lover of a steadfast, generous and sincere life — almost without realizing it we stand before Christ again. The Decalogue is his ‘x-ray’: it is like a photographic negative that lets his face appear — as in the Holy Shroud. And thus the Holy Spirit renders our heart fruitful, placing in it desires that are his gift, the desires of the Spirit. To desire according to the Spirit, to desire with the rhythm of the Spirt, to desire with the music of the Spirit.

Looking to Christ we see beauty, goodness, truth. And the Spirit engenders a life that, supporting these desires of his, kindles hope, faith and love in us.

In this way we can better understand why the Lord Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it, to develop it, and as the law according to the flesh was a series of prescriptions and prohibitions, according to the Spirit this same law becomes life (cf. Jn 6:63; Eph 2:15), because it is no longer a rule but the very flesh of Christ, who loves us, seeks us, forgives us, consoles us and in his Body recreates the communion with the Father, lost through the disobedience of sin. And thus, the literal negative, the negative expression used in the Commandments — ‘you shall not steal’, ‘you shall not insult’, ‘you shall not kill’ — that ‘not’ is transformed into a positive approach: to love, to make room in my heart for others, all desires that sow positivity. And this is the fullness of the law that Jesus came to bring us.

In Christ, and in him alone, the Decalogue ceases to be a condemnation (cf. Rom 8:1) and becomes the authentic truth of human life, namely, a desire for love — a desire for good, to do good is born here — a desire for joy, for peace, for magnanimity, for benevolence, for goodness, for fidelity, for meekness, self-control. It goes from that ‘no’ to this ‘yes’: the positive attitude of a heart that opens with the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is what seeking Christ in the Decalogue means: to make our heart fruitful so that it may be filled with love and open to God’s work. When men and women comply with the desire to live according to Christ, they are opening the door to salvation which cannot fail to occur because God the Father is generous and, as the Catechism says, “thirsts that we may thirst for him” (n. 2560).

If evil desires defile mankind (cf. Mt 15:18-20), the Spirit places in our heart his holy desires which are the seeds of new life (cf. 1 Jn 3:9). Indeed, the new life is not a titanic effort to comply with a rule, but rather, the new life is God’s own Spirit that begins to guide us to his fruits, in a happy synergy between our joy in being loved and his joy in loving us. The two joys come together: God’s joy in loving us and our joy in being loved.

This is what the Decalogue is for us Christians: to contemplate Christ in order to open ourselves up to receive his heart, to receive his will, to receive his Holy Spirit."


"Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier le groupe des personnes malades et handicapées venues de Lyon. Frères et sœurs, laissons le Saint Esprit faire germer en nous le saint désir d’une vie nouvelle, qui est le désir même de Dieu de nous aimer et d’être aimés de lui. Que Dieu vous bénisse.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Australia and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!

Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Die Sehnsucht nach Gott lässt uns unsere wahre Identität finden. Prüfen wir uns, was das tiefste Streben unseres Herzens ist und ob wir die Freude des Heiligen Geistes wirklich zu unseren Nächsten bringen. Der Herr geleite euch auf euren Wegen.

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española provenientes de España y América Latina, y además veo ahí un grupo de jóvenes mexicanos, que también saludo. Y también en modo particular al grupo de Obispos y sacerdotes de la República Dominicana que celebran sus cuarenta años de sacerdocio. Animo a todos a descubrir a Cristo en el decálogo, a dejar que nuestro corazón, pleno de amor, se abra a su acción y podamos acoger así el deseo de vivir la vida que él nos propone. Muchas gracias.

Dirijo uma cordial saudação aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa aqui presentes. Ao concluir o Ano Litúrgico, somos convidados a ir ao encontro de Jesus, que nos espera em cada dia nos sacramentos, na oração e no próximo, sobretudo nos mais necessitados. Que Deus vos abençoe!

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، إنَّ الروح القدس يُخصِّب قلبنا ويضع فيه الرغبات التي هي عطيّته، ويولِّد حياة، وإذ تدعم رغباته هذه، تطعّم فينا الرجاء والإيمان والمحبّة. فلنستدعه بتواتر ليقودَنا على درب تلاميذ يسوع الحقيقيِّين. ليبارككم الرب!

Pozdrawiam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich, a szczególnie Organizatorów wystawy, otwartej wczoraj w Papieskim Uniwersytecie Urbanianum, poświęconej polskiej Rodzinie Ulmów, rozstrzelanej w czasie II wojny światowej przez niemieckich nazistów za ukrywanie i niesienie pomocy Żydom. W kontekście rozważań o Dekalogu, niech ta wielodzietna Rodzina Sług Bożych, oczekujących na beatyfikację, będzie dla wszystkich przykładem wierności Bogu i Jego przykazaniom, miłości bliźniego oraz szacunku dla ludzkiej godności. Wszystkim wam z serca błogosławię.

Man džiugu pasveikinti piligrimus iš Lietuvos, atvykusius kartu su Vyskupais padėkoti man už neseniai vykusią mano kelionę į tą šalį. Sveikinu taip pat ir Popiežiškosios lietuvių Švento Kazimiero Kolegijos bendruomenę, švenčiančią 70-ies metų jubiliejų! Brangūs broliai ir seserys, mielai prisimenu kelionę į Lietuvą ir dėkoju jums visiems už svetingumą! Viešpats tedrąsina jus ir telaimina!

Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua italiana. Sono lieto di accogliere i Sacerdoti del Sacro Cuore di Gesù-Dehoniani; i Sacerdoti che partecipano al “Progetto secondo annuncio”, con il Vescovo di Albano, Mons. Marcello Semeraro e i membri della Famiglia Claretiana. Saluto le parrocchie, soprattutto quelle di Canosa di Puglia e di Barletta; L’Associazione italiana sclerosi multipla; il Gruppo Nova Facility, di Treviso; l’Associazione nuovi talenti speciali, di Verona, e l’Associazione per la lotta ai tumori al seno.

Un pensiero particolare rivolgo ai giovani, agli anziani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli.

Domenica prossima inizieremo il tempo liturgico dell’Avvento. Prepariamo i nostri cuori ad accogliere Gesù Salvatore; riconosciamo nel Natale l’incontro del Cristo con l’umanità, soprattutto quella che ancora oggi vive ai margini della società, nel bisogno e nella sofferenza, e nelle tante guerre."