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Pope Francis presided over the general audience this morning in the Paul VI hall, and began his remarks by noting that “Today we conclude our series of catecheses on Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. We have seen Paul speak in a variety of ways as apostle, theologian and pastor, opening up the inexhaustible riches of Jesus Christ.”

We see, said the Pope, how Paul taught that “the fulfillment of the true Law is found in this life of the Spirit given to us by Jesus.” And the life of the Spirit “can only be lived in freedom”. (photos Daniel Ibanez, EWTN)

“Paul’s personal encounter with the risen Lord,” explained the Holy Father, “led him to boldly proclaim the freedom from sin and death won by Christ’s victory on the Cross, and the new life bestowed on us by the Holy Spirit at our baptism.” He added that, “ Paul’s insistence that charity is the fulfilment of the law should lead us enthusiastically to pursue the way of Christian love and to cultivate the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Francis stated “we should ever grow weary or discouraged by our failures or apparent lack of progress.” He then referred to “Saint Augustine (who) evokes the image of Christ asleep in the boat amid the storm to remind us that whenever we feel weary and the tempests of life threaten to overwhelm us, we need but awaken Christ in our hearts, trusting in his faithful presence and the life-giving power of his Spirit.”

We must “learn to invoke the Holy Spirit more often,” said the Pope, who then suggested that the best way to do that is to recite often “the beautiful prayer” the Church recites on Pentecost, “Come Holy Spirit.”

Among those present in a packed Paul VI Hall today for the general audience were a number of American pilgrims coming from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Texas; Diocese of Orlando, Florida; Diocese of Arlington, Virginia; St. Joseph’s Parish, Sylvania, Ohio; Saint Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, Tucson, Arizona; Saint Columba Catholic Church, Newark, New Jersey; Holy Family Catholic Church, Nutley, New Jersey; Saints Joseph and Michael Catholic Church, Union City, New Jersey; Saint Joan of Arc, Jackson Heights, New York; Saint Joseph Catholic Church, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. members of The Lay Institute of Divine Mercy, California; and members of the Knights of Columbus, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.