Vatican City (AsiaNews) -
"In reality there is no human cry that is not heard by God" and if
prayer does not preserve us from trials or sufferings, it "allows us to
cope with a new force," just like Jesus when he offered his life on the
cross, trusting in God who responds to the cries and sufferings of Jesus not
with liberation from the cross, but with the resurrection.
Benedict XVI continues his catechesis general audience dedicated to prayer, and after speaking of the prayers of Jesus and those in the Acts of the Apostles, today he spoke of prayer in the Letters of St. Paul to 20 thousand people in St. Peter's Square.
After the catechesis, and because yesterday was World Day for Families, established by the United Nations and dedicated this year to balance between family life and work, the Pope said that " This should not hinder the family, but rather support and unite it, helping it to be open to life and to enter into a relationship with society and with the Church. I also hope that Sunday, the Lord's Day and weekly celebration of His Resurrection, will be a day of rest and an opportunity to strengthen family ties".
Previously, outlining prayer in the Letters of the Apostle, he observed that it "manifests itself in a variety of forms and involves all areas of life, both personal and community" and "it is no coincidence that the Letters are introduced and concluded by expressions of prayer. "
First of all, prayer for Paul "is not just a good work for God, but is primarily a gift, the fruit of the life-giving presence within us of the Spirit" that "helps us in our weakness." It 's true when St. Paul says, that " we do not know how to pray as we ought to pray. We can only open ourselves up, make time available for God; wait for Him to help us truly enter into dialogue." "More than in other dimensions of our existence it is in prayer that we experience our weakness and our poverty, being creatures before the omnipotence of God. "
"When we feel that God is far away, that we do not have words to communicate with Him, this absence of words and the desire to enter into communication with God is prayer, which through the Holy Spirit becomes a real contact with him" and the more "prayer becomes daily breath of our existence, the more we perceive the sense of our limitations, and the need to strengthen our prayer grows in us, to trust in Him "and" the Holy Spirit helps our inability, clears our minds, warms our hearts. "
This has three consequences in Christian life. First " we are enabled to abandon and overcome every form of fear or slavery, experiencing the true freedom of the children of God. The Apostle would have us understand that it is not above all our will that frees us from this condition, nor the law, but the Holy Spirit". " The Spirit of freedom is never identified either with licentiousness, or with the possibility of choosing evil, but with our desire for good."
The second consequence that occurs is that " our relationship with God becomes so deep that it is not be impacted by any reality or situation. We understand that with prayer we are not freed from trial or suffering, but we can live them in union with Christ, his sufferings". Many times, the Pope said, we ask to be freed from trial, and sometimes one gets the impression that God does not answer, but "the answer to the cries and suffering of Jesus was not the liberation from the cross, but the resurrection from death. "
Prayer, then, "is never just for me, but is open to the suffering of our time and for others": "true prayer is never for oneself", "getting used to thinking of not being alone, opening up to all humanity and creation. "
In his greetings in English addressed to the present, the Pope mentioned the presence of Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis, and the Caritas Executive Board and Representative Council pointing to their presence in St. Peter's Square. He said "Your presence here today expresses your communion with the Successor of Peter and your readiness to welcome the new juridical framework of your organization. I thank you for this and I am certain that the new structures will support and encourage your important service to those most in need". The reference was to the decree of Pope Benedict XVI published on May 2 that strengthens the role of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which "follows the institutional activities of Caritas Internationalis and is responsible for approving the doctrinal or moral content of its texts".