At today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis concludes his catechesis on the "Our Father". All the prayers of Jesus "echo" the "our Father", also that of "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" "The first protagonist of every Christian prayer is the Holy Spirit". The memory of Sister Ines Neves Sancho, killed May 20 in the Central African Republic.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "A Christian can pray in every situation", assuming "all the prayers of the Bible, especially of the Psalms; but he can also pray with so many expressions that in millennia of history have gushed forth from the hearts of men,” reflected Pope Francis at today's general audience.
The appointment was the last installment in his cycle of catechesis on the "Our Father", showing how all Jesus' prayers echo the "our Father " and that "the first protagonist of every Christian prayer is the Holy Spirit, which blows in the heart of the disciple ".
Speaking to the 30,000 or so pilgrims present in St Peter's Square, the Pope first of all showed how all the "expressions of prayer that emerge on the lips of Jesus recall the text of the" Our Father "".
Even prayer in the Garden of Olives (Mk 14.36), preserves "a trace of the 'Our Father'": "In the midst of darkness, Jesus invokes God with the name of 'Abbà', with filial trust and, while feeling fear and anguish, he asks that His will be done ".
"In other Gospel passages - he added - Jesus insists with his disciples, so that they may cultivate a spirit of prayer. Prayer must be insistent, and above all it must bring others to our mind, especially when we experience difficult relationships with them. J esus says: “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against any one; so that your Father also who is in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Mark 11:25). How can we not recognize in these expressions the assonance with the “Our Father”? And the examples could be numerous. "
"In the writings of Saint Paul we do not find the text of the 'Our Father', but his presence emerges in that stupendous synthesis where the invocation of the Christian is condensed into a single word:" Abba "(see Rom 8:15; Gal 4.6).
"Considering the New Testament as a whole, seeing clearly is that the first protagonist of every Christian prayer is the Holy Spirit, who breathes in the heart of the disciple. The Spirit makes us able to pray as children of God, which we really are by Baptism. The Spirit makes us pray in the “furrow” that Jesus has dug for us. This is the mystery of Christian prayer: by grace we are attracted in that dialogue of love of the Most Holy Trinity.”.
For the Pope, even in the most dramatic moment, when Jesus cries out "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mt 27:46), there is an echo of the "Our Father": " . Can the heavenly Father forsake His Son? Certainly not. Yet love for us, sinners, lead Jesus to this point: to the point of experiencing God’s abandonment, His distance. However, in the anguished cry there also remains the “My God, my God.” In that “my” is the nucleus of the relationship with the Father, there is the nucleus of faith and of prayer. ".
He concluded: “see why, a Christian can pray from this nucleus in every situation. He can assume all the prayers of the Bible, of the Psalms especially; but he can also pray with many expressions that in millennia of history welled from men’s heart. And we never cease to tell the Father about our brothers and sisters in humanity, so that none of them, the poor especially, is without a consolation and a portion of love."
Greeting French-speaking pilgrims, Francis recalled Sister Ines Neves Sancho, found dead (beheaded) last May 20 in the village of Nola, near Berberati, in the Central African Republic. "I would like to remember with you today - he said - 77-year-old Sister Ines Nieves Sancho, educator of poor girls for decades, brutally killed in Central Africa right in the place where she taught girls to sew. Another woman who gives her life for Jesus in service to the poor. Let us pray together ".