Pope: in Iraq to meet a people who have suffered so much and that martyred Church
At the general audience, Francis asks to pray for the journey that begins on Friday. In Myanmar, "aspirations for peace must not be stifled by violence". Before knowing Jesus, he said, "we really did not know how to pray: what words, what feelings and what languages were appropriate for God."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis hopes to make the trip to Iraq, which will begin the day after tomorrow, Friday “in the best possible way.” " or a long time I have wanted to meet those people who have suffered so much; to meet that martyred Church in the land of Abraham. Together with the other religious leaders, we shall also take another step forward in brotherhood among believers.”. Then recalling that John Paul II was prevented from visiting, he added that "one cannot disappoint a people for the second time.".
Before asking for prayers for his visit to Iraq, Francis went back to talking about the " Sad news of bloody clashes and loss of life continue to arrive from Myanmar. I would like to draw the attention of the authorities involved to the fact that dialogue prevails over repression and harmony over discord. I also appeal to the international community to ensure that the aspirations of the people of Myanmar are not stifled by violence. May the young people of that beloved land be granted the hope of a future where hatred and injustice make way for encounter and reconciliation. Finally, I repeat the wish I expressed a month ago: that the path towards democracy taken in recent years by Myanmar may be resumed through the concrete gesture of the release of the various political leaders imprisoned".
Previously, continuing in the cycle of catechesis dedicated to prayer, Francis illustrated the theme "Prayer and the Trinity". Before knowing Jesus, he said, " We really did not know how to pray: what words, what feelings and what language were appropriate for God. In that request the disciples addressed to the Master, which we have often recalled in the course of these catecheses, there is all of humanity’s fumbling, repeated attempts, often unsuccessful, to address the Creator: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1).. Not all prayers are equal, and not all are convenient: The Bible itself attests to the negative outcome of many prayers, which are rejected. Perhaps God at times is not content with our prayers and we are not even aware of this. God looks at the hands of those who pray: to make them pure it is not necessary to wash them; if anything, one must refrain from evil acts.”
“But perhaps the most moving acknowledgment of the poverty of our prayer came from the lips of the Roman centurion who one day begged Jesus to heal his sick servant (cf. Mt 8:5-13). He felt totally inadequate: he was not a Jew, he was an officer in the detested occupying army. But his concern for his servant emboldens him, and he says: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed” (v. 8). It is the phrase we also repeat in every Eucharistic liturgy. To dialogue with God is a grace: we are not worthy of it, we have no rights to claim, we “limp” with every word and every thought... But Jesus is the door that opens us to this dialogue with God.".
"Why - he then asked - should humanity be loved by God? There are no obvious reasons, there is no proportion… So much so that most mythologies do not contemplate the possibility of a god who cares about human affairs; on the contrary, they are considered bothersome and boring, entirely negligible.” While "a God who loves man, we would never have had the courage to believe him if we hadn't known Jesus",
“What kind of God is prepared to die for people? Which one? What kind of God loves always and patiently, without demanding to be loved in return? What God accepts the tremendous lack of gratitude of a son who asks for his inheritance in advance and leaves home, squandering everything? (cf. Lk 15:12-13).". "It is Jesus who reveals God’s heart. Thus Jesus tells us through his life the extent to which God is a Father. Tam Pater nemo: No one is Father like he is. The paternity that is closeness, compassion and tenderness. Do not forget these three words, that are God’s style: closeness, compassion and tenderness. It is his way of expressing his paternity towards us.”
He concluded: “It is difficult for us to imagine from afar the love with which the Holy Trinity is filled, and the depth of the reciprocal benevolence that exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Eastern icons offer us a glimpse of this mystery that is the origin and joy of the whole universe. Above all, it was beyond us to believe that this divine love would expand, landing on our human shore: we are the recipients of a love that has no equal on earth. The Catechism explains: “The sacred humanity of Jesus is therefore the way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to God our Father” (no. 2664). And this is the grace of our faith. We really could not have hoped for a higher vocation: the humanity of Jesus – God who came close to us in Jesus - made available to us the very life of the Trinity, and threw wide open this door of the mystery of the love of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."