Ms Julieann Moran, General Secretary for the Irish Synodal Pathway, reminded pilgrims at the National Novena to Our Lady of Knock that the synodal process requires prayer, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit if we are to discern God’s will for His Church at the beginning of this third millennium.
Speaking on 19 August on the theme The Synod: Are We There Yet?, Julieann Moran said, “we cannot discern the will of God without the Holy Spirit. Jesus teaches clearly that the Holy Spirit will teach his followers what is true. He promises his disciples that the Holy Spirit will teach all things and will remind them of everything he has said to them. We see this clearly in the first written account we have of the Apostles gathering in synod to discern whether gentiles needed to be circumcised in accordance with Jewish custom in order to be saved. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that having gathered at the Council of Jerusalem and listened to each other’s experiences, having debated and prayed from the Scriptures, they reach a consensus that this should not be the case. They then wrote to the early Church in Antioch with these words: ‘it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to impose on you any further burden.’
Ms Moran continued, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…This is what is at the heart of the Synod on synodality. The purpose of all the encounters, conversations, and listening sessions that took place in Ireland and around the world last year; the purpose of all the feedback and further rounds of conversation between the Church in Rome and the Church in the world earlier this year; the purpose of this walking together as the People of God is to make the Good News of Jesus Christ better known and more effective in the lives of people today amongst all of the challenges we face, by discerning and recognising the will of God when it seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us.”