06/09/2021, 14.05
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Pope: prayer gives meaning to all we do, learn to pray ceaselessly

Praying ceaselessly throughout the day, even while working or carrying out the many commitments of daily life is what is called "the prayer of the heart" which consists in repeating with faith: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner! ".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Prayer " it is the place where every action finds its meaning, its reason and its peace", it is not in contrast with daily industriousness, it must burn continuously, like the sacred fire of ancient times, which no one could extinguish.

Perseverance in prayer was the subject of Pope Francis’ penultimate of the catechesis dedicated to prayer. Praying continuously throughout the day, even while working or carrying out the many commitments of life is what is called "the prayer of the heart" which consists in repeating with faith: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner! ". Prayer that Francis repeatedly invited those present to repeat with him.

The general audience was again in the San Damaso courtyard and Francis spent almost thirty minutes among those present, blessed children, rosaries and images, wore skullcaps, signed books, leaflets, flags, a T-shirt, listened to stories and requests, offered a chocolate to a child who had gifted him a box.

He then asked how is it possible to pray “ceaselessly”, following the words of Saint Paul in the First Letter to the Thessalonians?

The answer, Francis said, is “the prayer of the heart. It consists in repeating with faith: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” A simple prayer, but very beautiful. A prayer that, little by little, adapts itself to the rhythm of breath and extends throughout the day. What was it? “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”. I can’t hear you. Louder! “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”. And repeat it, repeat it, eh! This is important. Indeed, the breath never stops, not even while we sleep; and prayer is the breath of life.”.

“Certainly, - he added - putting these principles into practice is not easy. A father and a mother, caught up in a thousand tasks, may feel nostalgia for a time in their life in which it was easy to find regular times and spaces for prayer. Then come children, work, family life, ageing parents… One has the impression that it will never be possible to get through it all. And so it is good for us to think that God, our Father, who must take care of all the universe, always remembers each one of us. Therefore, we too must always remember Him! "

"We can also remember that in Christian monasticism work has always been held in great esteem, not only because of the moral duty to provide for oneself and others, but also for a sort of balance, an inner balance – work, no? It is dangerous for man to cultivate an interest so abstract that he loses contact with reality. Work helps us to stay in touch with reality. The monk’s hands joined in prayer bear the calluses of those who wield shovels and hoes. When, in the Gospel of Luke (cf. 10:38-42), Jesus tells Saint Martha that the only thing that is truly necessary is to listen to God, He does not in any way mean to disparage the many services that she was performing with such effort”.

 

“Everything in the human being is “binary”: our body is symmetrical, we have two arms, two eyes, two hands… And so, work and prayer are also complementary. Prayer - which is the “breath” of everything - remains as the living backdrop of work, even in moments in which this is not explicit. It is inhuman to be so absorbed by work that you can no longer find the time for prayer. At the same time, a prayer that is alien from life is not healthy. A prayer that alienates itself from the concreteness of life becomes spiritualism, or worse, ritualism.”

“Let us remember that Jesus, after showing the disciples His glory on Mount Tabor, did not want to prolong that moment of ecstasy, but instead came down from the mountain with them and resumed the daily journey. Because that experience had to remain in their hearts as the light and strength of their faith; also a light and strength for the days that were soon to come: those of the Passion. In this way, the time dedicated to staying with God revive faith, which helps us in the practicalities of living, and faith, in turn, nurtures prayer, without interruption. In this circularity between faith, life and prayer, one keeps alight that flame of Christian life that God expects of us.".

In the greetings to those present, Francis recalled that "the day after tomorrow we will celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in which the love of God met all humanity. I invite each of you to look with confidence at the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to repeat often, especially during this month of June: Jesus meek and humble of heart, transform our hearts and teach us to love God and neighbour with generosity "

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