The Church must always and everywhere be one, catholic and universal, "the house where everyone can find themselves." This was Benedict XVI's message on Sunday, May 23rd, in his homily during Mass for Pentecost, celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica.
The Church is by its nature one and manifold, destined as it is to live among all nations, all peoples, and in various social contexts. It responds to its vocation -- to be a sign and instrument of unity for the whole human race -- only if it remains independent from all states and all particular cultures. At Pentecost, Benedict XVI explained, the Holy Spirit, God's force for communication, generates "a process of reunification between the scattered and divided factions of the human family," opening it up to experience communion. The Spirit is the flame that burns but does not destroy, the Pope added, rather, it transforms, because it must consume the waste that corrupts man and hampers his relationship with God and neighbor. This frightens us, we are afraid that following Christ deprives us of freedom, but "those who trust in Jesus experience a peace and joy of heart in this life that the world can neither give nor take away from us, once it has been given to us by God."