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Pope at audience: “To go ahead without that bitter, negative taste”

Pope Francis devoted today’s general audience to prayer in daily life. In the closing greetings, an invitation to the Italian faithful: "In a society that continues to be torn by divisions and tears, may you be signs of a project of fraternity and reconciliation"

(Foto Vatican Media/SIR)

“The person who prays is like someone in love who always bears the beloved in his or her heart wherever they go”, said the Pope in the catechesis of Wednesday’s general audience of February 10, livestreamed from the library of the Apostolic Palace, devoted to prayer in daily life: “In a society that continues to be torn by divisions and tears, may you be signs of a project of fraternity and reconciliation rooted in the Gospel and in the indispensable help of prayer”, the Pope said addressing Italian faithful in his final greetings.

“Prayer is always alive in our lives, like embers, even when the mouth does not speak, but the heart speaks”,

Francis said in the opening lines: “knowledge of Christ makes us confident that whatever our eyes and the eyes of our minds cannot see, rather than nothing being there, there is someone who is waiting for us, there is infinite grace. And thus, Christian prayer instils an invincible hope in the human heart: whatever experience we touch on our journey, God’s love can turn it into good.” 

“There exists no other wonderful day than the day we are living”,

assures the Pope: “Jesus comes to meet us today, the day we are living. Today is real, today is concrete.” And it’s prayer that “that transforms this day into grace, or better, it transforms us: it appeases anger, sustains love, multiplies joy, instills the strength to forgive.” “Take today”, he added in unprepared remarks: “When an angry thought comes to you, of unhappiness, that moves you toward bitterness, stop yourself. And let’s say to the Lord: ‘Where are you? And where am I going?’”

“To go ahead without that bitter, negative taste”,

the Pope’s unscripted advice: “The Lord is – let’s not forget – the Lord of compassion, of nearness, of tenderness: three words never to be forgotten regarding the Lord.”

“Each day that begins is accompanied by courage if it is welcomed in prayer. Thus, the problems we face no longer seem to be obstacles to our happiness, but appeals from God, opportunities to meet Him”, Francis said. “And when a person is accompanied by the Lord, he or she feels more courageous, freer, and even happier”, the Holy Father added impromptu.

“Let us pray always, then, for everyone, even for our enemies”, the exhortation: “Let us pray for our dear ones, even those we do not know. Let us pray above all for people who are sad, for those who weep in solitude and despair that there still might be someone who loves them.”

“Pray works miracles”, the Pope assures: “it helps us love others, despite their mistakes and sins”, for “the person is always more important than their actions, and Jesus did not judge the world, but He saved it.” “What a horrible life is that of the person who always judges others, who is always condemning, judging…”, Francis denounced. “We need to love each and every person, remembering in prayer that we are all sinners and at the same time loved individually by God”, Francis’ guidance:

“It is right and good to pray so that the coming of the kingdom of justice and peace may influence the march of history, but it is just as important to bring the help of prayer into humble, everyday situations.”

“The human person – men and women, all of us, – the human person is like a breath, like a blade of grass” as written in the Psalms. Francis said, quoting  the philosopher Pascal: “There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapour, a drop of water is enough to kill him.” “We are fragile beings, but we know how to pray”, remarked the Holy Father: “this is our greatest dignity and it is also our strength.”

“Have courage. Pray in every moment, in every situation,

so the Lord might be near to us”, the final unscripted invitation:  “And when a prayer is said according to the heart of Jesus, it obtains miracles.”

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