11/11/2020, 10.43
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Pope: Never stop praying, even when it seems that God is not listening

Francis recalls yesterday’s publication of the Report into the "painful case" of the former Cardinal McCarrick at the general audience and renews his "closeness to the victims of all abuse and the Church's commitment to eradicate this evil".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Prayer must be "tenacious", "persevering", "humble". And we must never stop praying even when it seems that God is not listening, and pray in the name of Jesus who “is not only a witness and teacher of prayer, he is more. He welcomes us in his prayer, so that we can pray in him and through him. And this is the work of the Holy Spirit”.

"Persevering prayer" is the theme that Pope Francis spoke about at today's general audience, which was again held in the private library. At the end of the meeting, Francis recalled that yesterday the "Report on the painful case of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick" was published and renewed his "closeness to the victims of all abuse and the Church's commitment to eradicate this evil".

"Prayer - he said, off the cuff - is like the oxygen of life". “It is drawing upon us the presence of the Holy Spirit which always carries us forward. This is why I talk a lot about prayer”. "Someone told me: 'You talk too much about prayer, it's not necessary'. Yes, it is necessary, because if we do not pray we will not have the strength to go forward in life”.

“Jesus - he continued - gave an example of continuous prayer, practiced with perseverance. Constant dialogue with the Father, in silence and meditation, is the fulcrum of his entire mission. The Gospels also report his exhortations to the disciples, so that they may pray insistently, without getting tired ”.

"The Catechism recalls three parables contained in the Gospel of Luke that underline this characteristic of prayer (see CCC, 2613). First of all, prayer must be tenacious: like the person in the parable who, having to welcome a guest who arrived unexpectedly in the middle of the night, goes to knock on the door of a friend and asks him for some bread. The friend responds, “No!”, because he is already in bed – but he insists and insists until he constrains his friend to get up and give him some bread (see Lk 11:5-8). But God is more patient with us, and the person who knocks with faith and perseverance on the door of His heart will not be disappointed. Our Father knows well what we need; insistence is necessary not to inform Him or to convince Him, but is necessary to nurture the desire and expectation in us".

"The second parable is that of the widow who turns to the judge to help him obtain justice. This judge is an unscrupulous man, but in the end, exasperated by the widow's insistence, he decides to please her (cf. Lk 18: 1-8). This parable makes us understand that faith is not the rush of a moment, but a courageous disposition to invoke God, even to 'argue' with him, without resigning oneself to evil and injustice ".

“The third parable presents a pharisee and a publican who go to the Temple to pray. The first turns to God boasting of his merits; the other feels unworthy even to enter the sanctuary. While God does not listen to the prayer of those who are proud, He does grant the prayer of the humble (see Lk 18:9-14). There is no true prayer with a spirit of humility."

 

" The teaching from the Gospel is clear: we need to pray always, even when everything seems in vain, when God appears to be deaf and mute and it seems we are wasting time. Even if heaven is overshadowed, the Christian does not stop praying. A Christian’s prayer keeps stride with his or her faith. There are many days of our life when faith seems to be an illusion, a sterile exertion. But the practice of prayer means accepting even this exertion. Many saints experienced the night of faith and God’s silence, and they were persevering. During those nights of faith, the one who prays is never alone. Jesus, in fact, is not only a witness and teacher of prayer; He is more. He welcomes us in His prayer so that we might pray in Him and through Him. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, the Gospel invites us to pray to the Father in Jesus’s name. Saint John provides these words of the Lord: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (14:13)." “Without Jesus, our prayer risks being reduced to human effort, destined most of the time to failure. But He has taken on Himself every cry, every groan, every jubilation, every supplication…every human prayer”.

“Christ is everything for us, even in our prayer life. Saint Augustine confirms this with an enlightening expression that we also find in the Catechism: Jesus “prays for us as our priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God. Therefore let us acknowledge our voice in him and his in us” (n. 2616). This is why the Christian who prays fears nothing.”

In his greeting to the French-speaking faithful, Francis recalled that “today, in some countries, the memory of those who died in wars is celebrated. May our prayers for all the victims of violence in the world encourage us to be instruments of peace and reconciliation”.

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