Apostolic Palace Library
Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Catechesis: 2. The prayer of the Christian
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Let's take the second step today in the journey of catechesis on prayer, which started last week .
Prayer belongs to everyone: to men of all religions, and probably also to those who profess none. Prayer arises in the secret of ourselves, in that inner place that spiritual authors often call the "heart" (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church , 2562-2563). To pray, therefore, is not something peripheral in us, it is not some of our secondary and marginal faculties, but it is the most intimate mystery of ourselves. It is this mystery that prays. Emotions pray, but it cannot be said that prayer is only emotion. Intelligence prays, but praying is not just an intellectual act. The body prays, but one can speak to God even in the most serious invalidity. It is therefore the whole man who prays, if he prays his with "heart".Prayer is an impulse, it is an invocation that goes beyond ourselves: something that is born in the depths of our person and reaches out, because it feels the nostalgia of an encounter. That nostalgia that is more than a need, more than a necessity: it is a road. Prayer is the voice of an "I" groping, groping, looking for a "You". The meeting between the "I" and the "You" cannot be done with calculators: it is a human encounter and many times one gropes to find the "You" that my "I" is looking for.
Instead, the Christian's prayer arises from a revelation: the "You" has not been shrouded in mystery, but has entered into a relationship with us. Christianity is the religion that continually celebrates the "manifestation" of God, that is, his epiphany. The first feasts of the liturgical year are the celebration of this God who does not remain hidden, but who offers his friendship to men. God reveals his glory in the poverty of Bethlehem, in the contemplation of the Magi, in the baptism at the Jordan, in the prodigy of the wedding at Cana. The Gospel of John concludes with a concise statement the great hymn of the Prologue: "no one has ever seen God: it is the only-begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he revealed it" (1:18). It was Jesus who revealed God to us.
The Christian's prayer enters into a relationship with the God with the most tender face, who does not want to instill any fear in men. This is the first characteristic of Christian prayer. If men had always been used to approaching God a little intimidated, a little frightened by this fascinating and terrible mystery, if they had become accustomed to venerating him with a servile attitude, similar to that of a subject who does not want to disrespect Christians instead turn to his lord, daring to call him confidently with the name of "Father". In fact, Jesus uses the other word: "dad".
Christianity has banished any "feudal" relationship from the bond with God. In the heritage of our faith there are no expressions such as "subjection", "slavery" or "vassalage"; but words like "covenant", "friendship", "promise", "communion", "closeness". In his long farewell address to the disciples, Jesus says thus: «I no longer call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, because all that I have heard from the Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and I made you to go and bear fruit and your fruit to remain; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, grant it to you "( Jn 15 : 15-16). But this is a blank check: "All that you will ask my Father in my name, I grant you"!
God is the friend, the ally, the groom. In prayer we can establish a relationship of trust with him, so much so that in the "Our Father" Jesus taught us to ask him a series of questions. We can ask God for everything, everything; explain everything, tell everything. It doesn't matter if we feel at fault in the relationship with God: we are not good friends, we are not grateful children, we are not faithful spouses. He continues to love us. It is what Jesus definitively demonstrates at the Last Supper, when he says: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you" ( Lk22,20). In that gesture Jesus anticipates the mystery of the Cross in the upper room. God is a faithful ally: if men stop loving, he continues to love him, even if love leads him to Calvary. God is always near the door of our heart and waits for us to open it. And sometimes it knocks on the heart but it's not intrusive: wait. God's patience with us is the patience of a dad, of someone who loves us so much. I would say, it is the patience of a dad and a mom together. Always close to our heart, and when he knocks he does it with tenderness and with much love.
Let's all try to pray like this, entering into the mystery of the Covenant. To put ourselves in prayer in the merciful arms of God, to feel wrapped in that mystery of happiness that is the Trinitarian life, to feel like guests who did not deserve so much honor. And to repeat to God, in the amazement of prayer: is it possible that you only know love? He doesn't know hate. He is hated, but does not know hatred. He only knows love. This is the God we pray to. This is the incandescent core of every Christian prayer. The God of love, our Father who waits for us and accompanies us.
Je salue cordialment les personnes de langue française. Lorsque nous prions, efforçons-nous de nous adresser à Dieu avec confiance, comme un enfant s'adresse à son Père, chassant toute peur et toute distance. The est toujours proche de nous, nous pouvons tout lui dire et tout lui demander. Que Dieu vous bénisse!
[ I cordially greet the French-speaking faithful. When we pray, let us strive to speak to God with confidence, as a child turns to his Father, without fear and distance. He is always close to us, we can tell him everything and ask him everything. God bless you! ]
I greet the English-speaking faithful joining us through the media. In this Easter season, I invoke upon you and your families the joy and strength that come from the Risen Christ. May God bless you!
[ I greet the English-speaking faithful connected through the social media. In this Easter season I invoke upon you and your families the joy and fortitude that come from the risen Christ. God bless you! ]
Herzlich grüße ich die Freunde deutscher Sprache. Die vielen Erweise der göttlichen Liebe sind eine starke Einladung an uns, zu allen Menschen, denen wir begegnen, freundlich zu sein, auch in diesen Zeiten, in denen das Leben uns zu einem etwas schwierigeren Zusammensein zwingt. Der Heilige Geist erfülle euch mit seiner Liebe und seiner Freude.
[ I warmly greet all the German-speaking friends. The many examples of the love that God has given to us are a strong invitation to love each other with all the people we meet, even in these times when life forces us to live together a little difficult. The Holy Spirit fill you with his charity and joy .]
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 entablar esa relación filial, de amistad y confianza con el Señor, pidiéndole lo que necesitan para su vida y, de manera particular, por aquellos que están a nuestro lado y sabemos que están necesitados, para que Dios, como Padre bueno, haga brillar su rostros sobre ellos y les grant the paz. That Nuestra Señora de Fátima, cuya memoria celebramos hoy, intercede por cada uno de ustedes. Que Dios los bendiga.
Saúdo os ouvintes de língua portuguesa e, neste dia treze de maio, a todos encorajo a conhecer and follow or exemplo by Virgem Maria. Para isso procuremos viver este mês com uma oração diária mais intensa e fiel, em particular rezando o terço, como recomenda a Igreja, obedecendo a um desejo repetidamente expresso em Fátima por Nossa Senhora. Sob a sua proteção, vereis que os sofrimentos e as aflições da vida serão mais suportáveis. Hoje, gostaria de me abeirar, com o coração, à diocese de Leiria-Fátima, ino Santuário de Nossa Senhora. Saúdo todos os peregrinos que lá estão em oração; saúdo or Cardeal Bispo, saúdo a todos. Todos unidos a Nossa Senhora, para que nos acompanhe neste caminho de conversão diária rumo a Jesus. Que Deus vos abençoe!
[ I greet the Portuguese-speaking listeners and, on this thirteenth day of May, I encourage everyone to know and follow the example of the Virgin Mary. To this end, let us try to live this month with a more intense and faithful daily prayer, in particular by reciting the rosary, as the Church recommends by obeying a desire repeatedly expressed in Fatima by Our Lady. Under his protection, you will see that the pains and afflictions of life will be more bearable. I would like to approach with my heart the diocese of Fatima, the Shrine of Our Lady today. I greet all the pilgrims who are praying there, I greet the cardinal bishop, I greet all. All united with Our Lady, who can accompany us on this path of daily conversion to Jesus. God bless you! ]
أحيي جميع المؤمنين الناطقين باللغة العربية ، المتابعين لهذه المقابلة عَبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي. إن الصلاة هي درب التواصل مع الله والإصغاء إليه. بهذه الروح ، قبلت دعوة اللجنة العليا للأخوة الإنسانية لتكريس يوم غد ، الموافق 14 مايو / آيار ، للصلاة واليوم والأع. أدعو وأشجع الجميع للانضمام إلى هذا الحدث. لنتحد كأخوة طالبين من الرب أن ينقذ البشرية من الجائحة ، وأن ينير العلماء ، وأن يمنح الشفاء للمصابين. ليبارككم الرب جميعًا ويحرسكم دائمًا من كل شر!
[ I greet the Arabic-speaking faithful who follow this meeting through the social media. Prayer is the way to communicate and listen to God. With this spirit, I accepted the invitation of the High Committee of the Human Brotherhood to dedicate tomorrow, May 14, to prayer, fasting and works of charity. I invite and encourage everyone to join this event. Let us join together as brothers in asking the Lord to save humanity from the pandemic, to enlighten scientists and to heal the sick. The Lord bless you all and always protect you from all evil! ]
Pozdrawiam serdecznie wszystkich Polaków. Dzisiaj w liturgii obchodzimy wspomnienie Matki Bożej Fatimskiej. Powracamy myślą do Jej objawień i orędzia przykazanego światu, a także do zamachu na życie świętego Jana Pawła II, który w swoim ocaleniu widział matczyną interwencję Najświętszej Dziewicy. W naszej modlitwie, prośmy Boga, za wstawiennictwem Niepokalanego Serca Maryi, o pokój dla świata, powstrzymanie pandemii, or ducha pokuty io nasze nawrócenie. W najbliższy poniedziałek przypada stulecie urodzin świętego Jana Pawła II: przy ołtarzu jego grobu odprawię Mszę św. o godzinie 7 rano, która będzie transmitowana przez telewizję satelitarną dla wszystkich. Dziękujemy Bogu, że dał nam tego Biskupa Rzymu, świętego Biskupa i prosimy Go, aby nam pomagał: aby pomógł Kościołowi rzymskiemu nawrócić się i iść naprzód. Z serca wam błogosławię.
[ I cordially greet all the Poles. Today we celebrate the liturgical memory of the Madonna of Fatima. Let us return with our thoughts to his apparitions and his message transmitted to the world, as well as to the attack on Saint John Paul II, who in the salvation of his life saw the maternal intervention of the Holy Virgin. In our prayers we ask God, through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for peace for the world, the end of the pandemic, the spirit of penance and our conversion. Next Monday will be the hundredth of the birth of St. John Paul II : I will celebrate Mass at 7.00 am, in front of the altar of the tomb, and will be broadcast worldwide for all. We thank God for giving us this Bishop in Rome, Holy Bishop, and we ask him to help us: that he help this Church of Rome to convert and move forward. I cordially bless you .]
I greet the Italian-speaking faithful. On the anniversary of the first apparition to the little visionaries of Fatima, I invite you to invoke the Virgin Mary to make each perseverant in love for God and neighbor.
I address a special thought to the elderly, young people, the sick and newlyweds. Constantly turn to the help of Our Lady; in her we find a caring and tender mother, a safe refuge in adversity.
My blessing to all!
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - a Translation from Italian