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Pope Francis Talks about Prayer, Faith, Perseverance and Courage 23.03.20



Pope Francis: Talks about Prayer 23.03.20


Pope Francis   23.03.20    Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)     Monday of the 4th Week of Lent - Lectionary Cycle II      John 4: 43-54

Pope Francis talks about Prayer 23.03.20

Let us pray today for those persons who are beginning to experience economic problems because of the pandemic, because they cannot work. All of this affects the family. We pray for those people who have this problem.

This father asks for healing for his son (cf. John 4:43-54). The Lord reproves him a bit - all of us, but him as well: "If you do not see signs and wonders, you will not believe" (see v. 48). The official, instead of being silent and keeping quiet, goes ahead and says, "Lord, come down before my child dies." And Jesus said to him, "Go, your son will live."

There are three things that are necessary to make a prayer that is well done. The first is faith: "If you have no faith...". And many times, prayer is only oral, from the mouth, but it does not come from the faith of the heart; or is it a weak faith... Let us think of another father, that of father who has a son possessed, when Jesus responds: "Everything is possible to the those who have faith"; and the father says clearly: "I believe, but increase my faith" (cf. Mark 9:23-24). Faith in prayer. Praying with faith, whether we pray outside [from a place of worship], or when we come here, and the Lord is there: do I have faith or is it a habit? Let us be careful in prayer: do not fall into the routine, without the consciousness that the Lord is there, that I am speaking with the Lord and that he is able to resolve problems. The first condition for a good prayer is faith.

The second condition that Jesus Himself teaches us is perseverance. Some ask but the grace does not come: they do not have this perseverance, because deep down they do not need it, or they do not have faith. And Jesus himself teaches us in the parable of the person who goes to a neighbour to ask for bread at midnight: the perseverance of knocking on the door (cf. Luke 11:5-8). Or the widow, with the unjust judge: who insists and insists and insists: it is perseverance (cf. Luke 18:1-8). Faith and perseverance go together, because if you have faith, you are sure that the Lord will give you what you ask. And if the Lord makes you wait, knock, knock, knock, in the end the Lord will give the grace. But the Lord does not do it to make himself desired, or to say "better to wait", no. He does it for our own good, because we take it seriously. Take prayer seriously, not like parrots: blah blah blah blah and nothing more. Jesus himself reproaches us: "Do not be like the pagans who believe in the effectiveness of prayer and in words, so many words" (cf. Mt 6,7-8). No. It's perseverance. It's faith.

And the third thing God wants in prayer is courage. Someone might think: does it take courage to pray and to stand before the Lord? Yes, it's necessary. The courage to remain there asking and moving forward, indeed, almost... – almost, I do not mean heresy – but almost as if threatening the Lord. Moses' courage before God, when God wanted to destroy the people and he would make him the head of another people. He says, "No. I'm with the people" (cf. Es 32:7-14). Courage. The courage of Abraham, when he negotiates the salvation of Sodom: "And if they were 30, and if they were 25, and if they were 20...": there, courage (cf. Gen 18:22-33). This virtue of courage is very much needed. Not only for apostolic works, but also for prayer.

Faith, perseverance and courage. In these days it is necessary to pray more. Imagine if were to pray like this. With the faith that the Lord can intervene. With perseverance and with courage. The Lord never deludes. He may make us wait. He takes His time but He never deludes.

Spiritual Communion:
At Your feet, O my Jesus, I prostrate myself and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart which is humbled in its nothingness in Your holy presence. I love you in the sacrament of Your love, the Eucharist. I wish to receive you into the poor dwelling that my heart offers you; waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion I wish to possess you in spirit. Come to me, my Jesus, since I come to You. May Your love embrace all my being in life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. Amen.