Pope's Pentecost Regina Coeli: How can I better listen to Holy Spirit?

During his Regina Coeli address on the Solemnity of Pentecost, Pope Francis urges faithful to ask themselves how well they listen to the Holy Spirit, and offers suggestions on how to better do so, including meditating on the Gospel daily and staying close to the Lord in prayer.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

May we be docile to the voice of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis prayed this Solemnity of Pentecost during his noon Regina Coeli address in the Vatican.

As he addressed the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square from his window of the Apostolic Palace, the Pope recalled that today we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles.

Highlighting that in today's Gospel, Jesus speaks about the Holy Spirit and says that He will teach us “whatever He hears,” the Pope asked, "what does this expression mean? What has the Holy Spirit heard? What will He speak about?"

Shedding light on the responses, the Pope said He speaks to us with words that express wonderful feelings, such as affection, gratitude, entrustment, and mercy, "that reveal to us a beautiful, luminous, concrete, and lasting relationship, such as the eternal Love of God."

Nourishing ourselves daily

They are precisely, he continued, "the transformative words of love," which the Holy Spirit repeats in us, and, which are good for us to hear, "because they give rise to and nurture in our hearts the same feelings and intentions."

For this reason, he said, it is important to nourish ourselves with them every day by reading a piece of the Gospel, which we can do easily by "having a small pocket Gospel that we carry around with us."

Making room for Holy Spirit's voice

Listening to the Lord's Word, and channeling Him in personal prayer and adoration, he suggested, helps us make room in ourselves for the voice of the Holy Spirit. Even in saying good words to each other, he added, we also become for one other "an echo of the gentle voice of the Consoler."

“Reading and meditating on the Gospel, praying in silence, saying good words: they are not difficult things; we can all do them.”

"Reading and meditating on the Gospel, praying in silence, saying good words: they are not difficult things; we can all do them."

With Mary's help

Therefore, Pope Francis invited faithful to ask themselves, "What place do these actions have in my life? How can I cultivate them to better listen to the Holy Spirit and become an echo of Him for others?"

Pope Francis concluded by imploring the Blessed Mother, who was present at Pentecost with the Apostles, to make us docile to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

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19 May 2024, 12:05

What is the Regina Coeli?

The antiphon Regina Coeli (“Queen of Heaven”) is one of four traditional Marian antiphons, the others being Alma Redemptoris Mater, Ave Regina Coelorum, and Salve Regina.

It was Pope Benedict XIV who, in 1742, enjoined the recitation of the Regina Coeli in place of the Angelus during Eastertide, that is, from Easter Sunday to the end of Pentecost. It is recited standing as a sign of Christ’s victory over death.

Like the Angelus, the Regina Coeli is said three times a day, at dawn, at noon, and at dusk, in order to consecrate the day to God and the Virgin Mary.

This ancient antiphon arose, according to a pious tradition, in the 6th century; it is attested in documentary sources from the first half of the 13th century, when it was inserted in the Franciscan breviary. It is composed of four short verses, each ending with an “alleluia.” With the Regina Coeli, the faithful turn to Mary, the Queen of Heaven, to rejoice with her at the Resurrection of Christ.

At the Regina Coeli on Easter Monday of 2015, Pope Francis spoke about the spiritual dispositions that should animate the faithful as they recite this Marian prayer:

“In this prayer, expressed by the Alleluia, we turn to Mary inviting her to rejoice, because the One whom she carried in her womb is Risen as He promised, and we entrust ourselves to her intercession. In fact, our joy is a reflection of Mary’s joy, for it is she who guarded and guards with faith the events of Jesus. Let us therefore recite this prayer with the emotion of children who are happy because their mother is happy.”

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