"The Saints show us that we can always give praise, in good times and bad, because God is the faithful Friend, and His love never fails ", " In the future of the world and in the hopes of the Church there are the "little ones": those who do not consider themselves better than others, who are aware of their own limitations and their sins, who do not want to lord it over others, who, in God the Father, recognize that we are all brothers and sisters.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Praising God "always, in good times or bad", in the moment of defeat, "will do us good". Because God “does not need our praise” rather “we do” because "by praising we will be saved".
Prayers of praise for God like St. Francis who at the end of his life, almost blind, wrote the Canticle of Creatures, a hymn of praise to the Creator, was the theme Pope Francis spoke about at today's general audience, held in the private library.
Continuing the cycle of catechesis on prayer, Francis in fact spoke of the prayer of praise, which is in the hearts of the "little ones", who are the hope of the future for the Church and for the world.
The Pope's catechesis began with "a critical passage in the life of Jesus. After the first miracles and the involvement of the disciples in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, the mission of the Messiah
goes through a crisis. John the Baptist doubts: “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?”
(Mt 11:3); there is hostility in the villages along the lake, where Jesus had performed so many prodigious signs (see Mt 11:20-24). Now, precisely in this disappointing moment, Matthew relates a truly surprising fact: Jesus does not lift up a lament to the Father, but rather a hymn of jubilation: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes” (Mt 11:25)".
In full crisis, in full darkness in the souls of so many people, Jesus blesses the Father, praises him. Why? First and foremost, He praises Him for who He is: “Father, Lord of heaven and earth”. Jesus rejoices in His spirit because He knows and He feels that His Father is the God of the Universe, and vice versa, the Lord of all that exists is Father “My Father”. Praise springs from this experience of feeling that He is “Son of the Most High".
“And then Jesus praises the Father for favouring the little ones. It is what He Himself experiences, preaching in the villages: the “learned” and the “wise” remain suspicious and closed, while the “little ones” open themselves and welcome His message. This can only be the will of the Father, and Jesus rejoices in this. We too must rejoice and praise God because humble and simple people welcome the Gospel.”
“In the future of the world and in the hopes of the Church there are the "little ones": those who do not consider themselves better than others, who are aware of their own limitations and their sins, who do not want to lord it over others, who, in God the Father, recognize that we are all brothers and sisters. Therefore, in that moment of apparent failure, Jesus prays, praising the Father. And His prayer also leads us, the readers of the Gospel, to judge our personal defeats in a different way, the situations in which we do not see clearly the presence and action of God, when it seems that evil prevails and there is no way to stop it. Jesus, who recommended the prayer of asking questions so much, at the very moment when He would have had reason to ask the Father for explanations, instead begins to praise Him. To whom is praise necessary? To us or to God? A text of the Eucharistic liturgy invites us to pray to God in this way: “Although you have no need of our praise, yet our thanksgiving is itself your gift, since our praises add nothing to your greatness, but profit us for salvation” (Roman Missal, Common Preface IV). The prayer of praise serves us. The Catechism defines it this way: “It shares in the blessed happiness of the pure of heart who love God in faith before seeing Him in glory” (no. 2639). Paradoxically it must be practised not only when life fills us with happiness, but above all in difficult moments, when the path becomes steep. That too is the time for praise. Because we learn that, through that ascent, that wearisome path, those demanding passages, we get to see a new panorama, a broader horizon.”
“There is a great teaching in that prayer that has retained its vitality for eight centuries, that Saint Francis composed at the end of his life: the “Canticle of Brother Sun” or “of the creatures”. The Poverello did not compose it in a moment of joy, of wellbeing, but on the contrary, in the midst of hardship. Francis was by then almost blind, and he felt in his soul the weight of a solitude he had never before experienced: the world had not changed since the beginning of his preaching, there were still those who let themselves be torn apart by quarrels, and in addition he was aware that death was approaching ever nearer. It could have been the moment of extreme disillusionment and the perception of his own failure. But Francis prayed at that instant: “All praise is yours, my Lord”. Francis praises God for everything, for all the gifts of creation, and even for death, which he courageously manages to call “sister”.”
“The saints show us that we can always give praise, in good times and bad, because God is the faithful Friend, and His love never fails.”