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Pope: Being Christian is Full-Time Effort

05/17/13

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Catholics can't put their faith on a part-time schedule or rely on it just for the moments they choose; being Christian is a full-time occupation, Pope Francis said.

If people don't open their hearts to the Holy Spirit to let God purify and enlighten them, then "our being Christian will be superficial," the pope said May 15, 2013, at his weekly general audience.

Knowing and doing what God wants is not possible with mere human effort -- it takes the transformative action of the Holy Spirit, he said.

Speaking to more than 80,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis also announced his September visit to Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia, where he plans to venerate the icon of Our Lady of "Bonaria" or "Buona Aria" ("good air" or "fair wind"), the namesake of his native city of Buenos Aires.

The pope dedicated his audience talk to the Year of Faith and, anticipating the feast of Pentecost May 19, focused on the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding the lives of the faithful and the church to the truth.

Carol Glatz, CNS Rome