Apostolic Palace Library
Wednesday, 27 May 2020
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Wednesday, 27 May 2020
Full Video Below
Catechesis: 4. The prayer of the righteous
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
We dedicate today's catechesis to the prayer of the righteous .
God's plan for humanity is good, but in our daily life we experience the presence of evil: it is an everyday experience. The first chapters of the book of Genesis describe the progressive expansion of sin in human affairs. Adam and Eve (cf. Gen.3.1-7) they doubt the benevolent intentions of God, thinking that they are dealing with an envious divinity, which prevents their happiness. Hence the rebellion: they no longer believe in a generous Creator, who desires their happiness. Their heart, yielding to the temptation of the evil one, is taken by delusions of omnipotence: "If we eat the fruit of the tree, we will become like God" (cf. v. 5). And this is the temptation: this is the ambition that enters the heart. But the experience goes in the opposite direction: their eyes open and discover that they are naked (v. 7), with nothing. Don't forget this: the tempter is a bad payer, he pays badly.
Evil becomes even more disruptive with the second human generation, it is stronger: it is the story of Cain and Abel (cf Gen 4 : 1-16). Cain is envious of his brother: there is the worm of envy; even though he is the firstborn, he sees Abel as a rival, one who undermines his primacy. Evil appears in his heart and Cain cannot dominate it. Evil begins to enter the heart: thoughts are always about looking badly at the other, with suspicion. And this also happens with the thought: "This is a bad guy, he will hurt me." And this thought is entering the heart ... And so the story of the first fraternity ends with a murder. I am thinking today of human fraternity…. wars everywhere.
In the lineage of Cain, crafts and the arts develop, but violence also develops, expressed by the sinister song of Lamec, which sounds like a hymn of revenge: «I killed a man for my nick and a boy for my bruise [...] Seven times Cain will be avenged, but Lamec seventy-seven "( Gen 4 : 23-24). Revenge: "You did it, you will pay it." But this does not say the judge, I say it. And I judge the situation. And so the evil spreads like wildfire, until it occupies the whole picture: "The Lord saw that the wickedness of men was great on earth and that every intimate purpose of their hearts was nothing but evil, always" ( Gen6.5). The large frescoes of the universal flood (chap. 6-7) and the tower of Babel (chap. 11) reveal that there is a need for a new beginning, as for a new creation, which will have its fulfillment in Jesus Christ.
Yet, in these first pages of the Bible, another story is written, less conspicuous, much more humble and devoted, which represents the redemption of hope. Even if almost everyone behaves in a brutal way, making hatred and conquest the great engine of human affairs, there are people capable of praying to God with sincerity, capable of writing man's destiny in a different way. Abel offers God a first-fruits sacrifice. After his death, Adam and Eve had a third child, Set, from whom Enos (which means "mortal") was born, and it is said: "At that time people began to invoke the name of the Lord" (4,26). Then Enoch appears, a person who "walks with God" and who is kidnapped to heaven (cf. 5,22.24). And finally there is the story of Noah, the just man who "walked with God" (6,9),
Reading these stories, one gets the impression that prayer is both the embankment and the refuge of man before the flood of evil that grows in the world. On closer inspection, we also pray to be saved by ourselves. It is important to pray: "Lord, please, save me from myself, from my ambitions, from my passions". The prayers of the first pages of the Bible are men who work for peace: in fact, prayer, when it is authentic, free from instincts of violence and is a gaze turned to God, so that he may return to take care of the heart of man. The Catechism reads: "This quality of prayer is lived by a multitude of righteous in all religions" ( CCC, 2569). Prayer cultivates flowerbeds of rebirth in places where man's hatred has only been able to enlarge the desert. And prayer is powerful, because it attracts the power of God and the power of God always gives life: always. He is the God of life, and he is reborn.
This is why the lordship of God passes through the chain of these men and women, often misunderstood or marginalized in the world. But the world lives and grows thanks to the strength of God that these servants of his attract with their prayer. They are a chain that is not at all rowdy, which rarely leaps to the headlines, yet it is so important to restore trust to the world! I remember the story of a man: a head of government, important, not of this time, of times gone by. An atheist who had no religious sense in his heart, but as a child he felt his grandmother praying, and this remained in his heart. And in a difficult moment of his life, that memory returned to his heart and said: "But the grandmother prayed ...". Thus he began to pray with the formulas of his grandmother and there he found Jesus. Prayer is a chain of life, always: many men and women who pray, sow life. Prayer sows life, small prayer: this is why it is so important to teach children to pray. It pains me when I find children who cannot make the sign of the cross. We must teach them to do the sign of the cross well, because it is the first prayer. It is important that children learn to pray. Then, perhaps, they will be able to forget, take another path; but the first prayers learned as a child remain in the heart, because they are a seed of life, the seed of dialogue with God. It is important that children learn to pray. Then, perhaps, they will be able to forget, take another path; but the first prayers learned as a child remain in the heart, because they are a seed of life, the seed of dialogue with God. It is important that children learn to pray. Then, perhaps, they will be able to forget, take another path; but the first prayers learned as a child remain in the heart, because they are a seed of life, the seed of dialogue with God.
The path of God in the history of God passed through them: it passed through a "rest" of humanity that did not conform to the law of the fittest, but asked God to perform his miracles, and above all to transform our heart of stone in the heart of flesh (cf. Ez 36,26). And this helps prayer: because prayer opens the door to God, transforming our heart many times of stone into a human heart. And it takes a lot of humanity, and with humanity we pray well.
Je salue cordially les fidèles de langue française. Dans quelques jours nous célèbrerons la fête de la Pentecôte . Prions l'Esprit Saint pour qu'il fasse de nous des hommes de paix et de fraternité et renders confiance et espérance au monde. Que Dieu vous bénisse!
[ I cordially greet the French-speaking faithful. In a few days we will celebrate the feast of Pentecost . Let us pray to the Holy Spirit to make us men of peace and brotherhood and to give the world trust and hope. God bless you .]
I greet the English-speaking faithful joining us through the media. As we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost , I invoke upon you and your families an abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. May God bless you!
[ I greet the English-speaking faithful connected through social media. As we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost , I invoke an abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon you and your families. God bless you! ]
Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Gläubigen deutscher Sprache. Folgen wir dem Beispiel der seligen Jungfrau Maria: Sie hat mit ihrem inständigen Gebet zusammen mit den Aposteln den Heiligen Geist für die Kirche erfleht, der die Menschen in der Liebe Christi erneuert. Der Geist der Liebe erfülle unsere Herzen, auf dass sie beständig im Gebet dem Herrn zugewandt seien.
[ A cordial greeting to the German-speaking faithful. Let us follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary: with her assiduous prayer together with the Apostles, she invoked the Holy Spirit for the Church, who renews men in the love of Christ. The Spirit of Charity fills our hearts to continually turn to the Lord in prayer .]
I cordially greet you at the language of the language that you sign in the través de los medios de comunicación social. Los animo a leer las primeras páginas of the book of the Génesis para redescubrir la fuerza que hold the oración de los "amigos de Dios", y para hacer nosotros lo mismo. Invoquemos su Nombre con confianza y elevemos nuestra oración conjunta para que el Señor sane a este mundo de todas sus dolencias, ya nosotros nos haga experimentar la alegría de la salvación. Que Dios los bendiga.
Saúdo os ouvintes de língua portuguesa, recordando-vos que a oração abre a porta da nossa vida a Deus. And Deus ensina-nos a sair de nós mesmos para ir ao encontro dos outros mergulhados na prova, giving-lhes consolação, esperança e apoio. De coração, vos abençoo em nome do Senhor.
[ I greet the Portuguese-speaking listeners and I remind you that prayer opens the door of our life to God. And God teaches us to go out of ourselves to meet others immersed in the trial, offering them consolation, hope and support. I cordially bless you in the name of the Lord .]
أحيي جميع المؤمنين الناطقين باللغة العربية ، المتابعين لهذه المقابلة عَبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي. إن الصلاة لا تغير الله إنما تغيرنا نحن ، وتجعلنا أكثر انصياعًا لمشيئته المقدسة. فالصلاة تدفعنا للدخول رويدا رويدا في النور الإلهي الذي يطهر قلوبنا من كل ظلام. ليبارككم الربّ جميعًا ويحرسكم دائمًا من كل شر!
[ I greet the Arabic-speaking faithful who follow this meeting through the social media. Prayer does not change God, but ourselves and makes us more docile to His holy will. Praying slowly leads us into the divine light that purifies our heart of all darkness. The Lord bless you all and always protect you from all evil! ]
Pozdrawiam serdecznie Polaków, którzy łączą się z nami przez środki masowego przekazu. Przeżywając nowennę przed Uroczystością Zesłania Ducha Świętego, prośmy Boskiego Pocieszyciela, ażeby był obecny w nas, by poprzez Swoje dary, jakże konieczne, pomógł nam wzrastać w wierze chrześ. W tym trudnym czasie, jaki przeżywa świat, módlmy się słowami świętego Jana Pawła II wypowiedzianymi w Warszawie: „Niech zstąpi Duch Twój i odnowi oblicze ziemi! Tej ziemi! " (2 czerwca 1979 r.). Z serca wam błogosławię.
[ I cordially greet all Poles connected with us through the mass media. We are living the days of the Pentecost novena: we implore the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, so that with his gifts, so necessary, he will help us to progress in the Christian life. In this difficult time, let us pray with the words that St. John Paul II pronounced in Warsaw : “Let your Spirit come down and renew the face of the earth! From this land! " (June 2, 1979). I bless you from my heart. ]
I greet the Italian-speaking faithful. The day after tomorrow we will celebrate the liturgical memory of Pope Saint Paul VI . The example of this Bishop of Rome, who has reached the heights of holiness, encourage each one to generously embrace the Gospel ideals.
I address my thoughts to the elderly, young people, the sick and newlyweds. In the atmosphere of preparation for the Solemnity of Pentecost that is now approaching, I urge you to always be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, so that your life will always be warmed and illuminated by the love that the Spirit of God pours into hearts. My blessing to all of you