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Pope Francis I, General Audience 2021:

 

28 April 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer: 31. The meditation

Scripture Reading: John 14:25-26, 16:12-15. See John Chapter 14, John Chapter 16. 8-)

Video, Video (American Sign Language), Text. 8-)

Today we will talk about the form of prayer called meditation. For a Christian, to “meditate” is to seek meaning: it implies placing oneself before the immense page of Revelation to try to make it our own, assuming it completely. And the Christian, after having welcomed the Word of God, does not keep it closed up within him or herself, because that Word must be met with “another book”, which the Catechism calls “the book of life” (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2706). This is what we try to do every time we meditate on the Word.

 

We take the Gospel, and meditate on those mysteries in the Gospel, and the Spirit guides us to being present there. And in prayer - when we pray - we are all like the cleansed leper, the blind Bartimaeus who regains his sight, Lazarus who comes out of the tomb… We too are healed by prayer just as the blind Bartimaeus, the other one, the leper… We too rise again, as Lazarus rose again, because prayer of meditation guided by the Holy Spirit leads us to relive these mysteries of the life of Christ and to encounter Christ, and to say, with the blind man, “Lord, have pity on me! Have pity on me!” - “And what do you want?” - “To see, to enter into that dialogue”. And Christian meditation, led by the Spirit, leads us to this dialogue with Jesus. There is no page of the Gospel in which there is no place for us. For us Christians, meditating is a way of coming into contact with Jesus. And in this way, only in this way, we discover ourselves. And this is not a withdrawal into ourselves, no, no: it means going to Jesus, and from Jesus, discovering ourselves, healed, risen, strong by the grace of Jesus. And encountering Jesus, the Saviour of all, myself included. And this, thanks to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thank you.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 28 April 2021)

 

21 April 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer - 30. The vocal prayer

Video, Video (American Sign Language), Text

Scripture Reading: Psalm 130:1-5 (See Psalm 130)

Extracts:

We all have something to learn from the perseverance of the Russian pilgrim, mentioned in a famous work on spirituality, who learned the art of prayer by repeating the same invocation over and over again: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord, have mercy on us, sinners!” (cf. CCC, 2616; 2667). He repeated only this: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Lord, have mercy on us, sinners!”. If graces arrive in our life, if prayer becomes so warm one day that the presence of the Kingdom were perceived here among us, if that vision could be transformed until it became like that of a child, it would be because we have insisted on reciting a simple Christian exclamation. In the end, it becomes part of our breathing. It is beautiful, the story of the Russian pilgrim: it is a book that is accessible to all. I recommend you read it; it will help you to understand what vocal prayer is.

 

Therefore, we must not disregard vocal prayer. One might say, “Ah, this is for children, for ignorant folk; I am seeking mental prayer, meditation, the inner void so that God might come to me…” Please! Do not succumb to the pride of scorning vocal prayer. It is the prayer of the simple, the prayer that Jesus taught: Our Father, who is in heaven… The words we speak take us by the hand; at times they restore flavour, they awaken even the sleepiest of hearts; they reawaken feelings we had forgotten. And they lead us by the hand towards the experience of God, these words… And above all, they are the only ones that, in a sure way, direct to God the questions he wants to hear. Jesus did not leave us in a fog. He told us: “Pray then like this”. And he taught the Lord's Prayer (cf. Matthew 6:9).

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 21 April 2021)

 

14 April 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer - 29. The Church, teacher of prayer

Video, Video (American Sign Language), Text

Scripture Reading: Acts 4:23-24, 29-31. See the entire Acts Chapter 4.

Extracts:

Holy women and men do not have easier lives than other people. Even they actually have their own problems to address, and, what is more, they are often the objects of opposition. But their strength is prayer. They always draw from the inexhaustible “well” of Mother Church. Through prayer they nourish the flame of their faith, as oil used to do for lamps. And thus, they move ahead walking in faith and hope. The saints, who often count for little in the eyes of the world, are in reality the ones who sustain it, not with the weapons of money and power, of the communications media – and so forth – but with the weapon of prayer.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus poses a dramatic question that always makes us reflect: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke  18:8), or will he find only organizations, like groups of entrepreneurs of the faith, everything organized well, who do charitable works, many things, or will he find faith? “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” This question comes at the end of a parable that demonstrates the need to pray with perseverance without getting tired (see vv. 1-8). Therefore, we can conclude that the lamp of faith will always be lit on earth as long as there is the oil of prayer… I repeat: We can conclude that the lamp of faith will always be lit on earth as long as there is the oil of prayer…

Without faith everything collapses; and without prayer faith is extinguished. Faith and prayer together. There is no other alternative. For this reason, the Church, as the house and school of communion, is the house and school of faith and prayer.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 14 April 2021)

 

7 April 2021 General Audience of Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer - 28. Praying in communion with the Saints

Video, Video (American Sign Language), Text

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-2 (see Hebrews Chapter 12)

The saints are still here not far from us; and their representations in churches evoke that “cloud of witnesses” that always surrounds us (see Hebrews 12:1). At the beginning, we heard the reading from the passage from the Letter to the Hebrews…

The saints remind us that even in our lives, however weak and marked by sin, holiness can unfold. Even at the last moment. In fact, we read in the Gospel that the first saint canonized by Jesus Himself was a thief, not a Pope. Holiness is a journey of life, a long or short or instantaneous encounter with Jesus. But he or she is always a witness, a saint is a witness, a man or woman who encountered Jesus and followed Jesus. It is never too late to be converted to the Lord who is good and great in love (see Psalm 103:8)…

The first way to face a time of anguish is by asking our brothers and sisters, the saints above all, to pray for us. The name given to us at Baptism is not a label or a decoration! It is usually the name of the Virgin, or a Saint, who expect nothing other than to “give us a hand” in life, to give us a hand to obtain the grace from God that we need. If the trials of life have not reached the breaking point, if we are still capable of persevering, if despite everything we proceed trustingly, more than due to our own merits, perhaps we owe all this to the intercession of all the saints, some who are in Heaven, others who are pilgrims like us on earth, who have protected and accompanied us, because all of us know there are holy people here on this earth, saintly men and women who live in holiness. They do not know it; neither do we know it. But there are saints, everyday saints, hidden saints, or as I like to say, “saints who live next door”, those who share their lives with us, who work with us and live a life of holiness.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 7 April 2021)

 

31 March 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis - The Easter Triduum

Video (American Sign Language), Text .

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52:13-15 (See Isaiah chapter 52)

He who was crucified is risen! All questions and uncertainties, hesitations and fears are dispelled by this revelation. The Risen One gives us the certainty that good always triumphs over evil, that life always conquers death, and that it is not our end to descend lower and lower, from sorrow to sorrow, but rather to rise up high. The Risen One is the confirmation that Jesus is right in everything: in promising us life beyond death and forgiveness beyond sins. The disciples doubted, they did not believe. The first to believe and to see was Mary Magdalene; she was the apostle of the resurrection who went to announce that she had seen Jesus, who had called her by name. And then, all the disciples saw him But, I would like to linger on this point: the guards, the soldiers, who were at the sepulchre to prevent the disciples from coming and taking his body, saw him; they saw him alive and risen. His enemies saw him, and then they pretended not to have seen him. Why? Because they were paid. Here is the true mystery of what Jesus once said: “There are two masters in the world, two, no more: two. God and money. He who serves money is against God”. And here it was money that changed reality. They had seen the wonder of the resurrection, but they were paid to keep quiet. Let us think of the many times that Christian men and women were paid not to acknowledge in practice the resurrection of Christ, and they did not do what Christ asked us to do, as Christians.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 31 March 2021)

 

24 March 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer - 27. To pray in communion with Mary

Scripture Reading: Acts 1: 12-14. (See Acts Chapter 1)

Video, Text.

Mary is always present at the bedside of her children when they depart this world. If someone is alone and abandoned, she is Mother, she is there, near, as she was next to her Son when everyone else abandoned him.

Mary was and is present in these days of the pandemic, near to the people who, unfortunately, have concluded their earthly journey all alone, without the comfort of or the closeness of their loved ones. Mary is always there next to us, with her maternal tenderness.

Prayers said to her are not in vain. The Woman who said “yes”, who promptly welcomed the Angel’s invitation, also responds to our supplications, she hears our voices, even those that remain closed in our hearts that haven’t the strength to be uttered but which God knows better that we ourselves do. She listens as Mother. Just like, and more than, every good mother, Mary defends us from danger, she is concerned about us even when we are concentrated on our own things and lose a sense of the way, and when we put not only our health in danger, but also our salvation. Mary is there, praying for us, praying for those who do not pray. To pray with us. Why? Because she is our Mother.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 24 March 2021)

 

17 March 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer: 26. Prayer and the Trinity. 2

Video, Text.

Scripture Reading: John 14: 15-17, 25-26. See John Chapter 14.

It is therefore the Spirit who writes the history of the Church and of the world. We are open books, willing to receive his handwriting. And in each of us the Spirit composes original works, because there is never one Christian who is completely identical to another. In the infinite field of holiness, the one God, the Trinity of Love, allows the variety of witnesses to flourish: all are equal in dignity, but also unique in the beauty that the Spirit has willed to be released in each of those whom God's mercy has made his children. Let us not forget, the Spirit is present, he is present in us. Let us listen to the Spirit, let us call to the Spirit - he is the gift, the present that God has given us - and say to him: “Holy Spirit, I do not know your face - we do not know it - but I know that you are the strength, that you are the light, that you are able to make me go forth, and to teach me how to pray. Come, Holy Spirit”. This is a beautiful prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit”.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 17 march 2021)

 

10 March 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on the Apostolic Journey to Iraq

Video, Text.

Scripture Reading: Genesis 12:1,4, 15:5-6 (See Genesis 12, Genesis 15)

War is always that monster that transforms itself with the change of epochs and continues to devour humanity. But the response to war is not another war; the response to weapons is not other weapons. And I asked myself: who was selling the weapons to the terrorists? Who sells weapons today to the terrorists – which are causing massacres in other areas, let’s think of Africa, for example? It is a question that I would like someone to answer. The response is not war, but the response is fraternity. This is the challenge not only for Iraq. It is the challenge for many regions in conflict and, ultimately, the challenge for the entire world is fraternity. Will we be capable of creating fraternity among us? Of building a culture of brothers and sisters? Or will we continue the logic Cain began: war. Brothers and sisters. Fraternity.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 10 March 2021)

 

3 March 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer - 25. Prayer and the Trinity. 1

Video, Text.

Scripture Reading: Romans 8:14-15, 26-27 (see Romans Chapter 8).

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 pleased 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 should refrain from evil acts. Saint Francis prayed: “Nullu homo ène dignu te mentovare ”, that is, “no man is worthy to mention Your name” (Canticle of the Sun ).

It is Jesus who reveals God’s heart. Thus Jesus tells us through his life the extent to which God is Father. Tam Pater nemo : No one is Father as he is. The paternity that is closeness, compassion and tenderness.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 3 March 2021)

 

10 February 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer - 24. Prayer in daily life

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:16-17, Video, Text.

Prayer works miracles; and so the poor understand, by God’s grace that, even in their precarious situation, the prayer of a Christian makes Christ’s compassion present. Indeed, he looked with great tenderness on the weary and lost crowd who were like sheep without a shepherd (cf. Mark 6:34). The Lord is — let us not forget — the Lord of compassion, of nearness, of tenderness: three words never to be forgotten. Because this is the Lord’s style: compassion, nearness, tenderness.

Pope Francis I (February 10 2021 General Audience)

 

03 February 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer - 23. Praying in the liturgy

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:22-24, Video, Text.

 

27 January 2021 General Audience Pope Francis

Catechesis on prayer - 22. The prayer with the Sacred Scripture

Scripture Reading: Extracted from Psalm 119, Video, Text.

Christian life is at the same time a work of obedience and of creativity. Good Christians must be obedient, but they must be creative. Obedient, because they listen to the Word of God; creative, because they have the Holy Spirit within who drives them to be so, to lead them forward. At the end of one of his discourses addressed in the form of parables, Jesus makes this comparison: “Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure” — the heart — “what is new and what is old” (Matthew 13:52). The Holy Scriptures are an inexhaustible treasure. May the Lord grant us all to draw ever more from them, though prayer. Thank you.

Pope Francis I

 

20 January 2021, General Audience

Catechesis - Prayer for Christian Unity

Scripture Reading: John 17: 1,9,20-21, Video, Text.

 

13 January 2021 General Audience

Catechesis on prayer - 21. The prayer of praise

Scripture Reading: Psalm 145:1-7, Video, Text.

CANTICLE OF THE SUN ~ Prayer of Saint Francis

 

Pope Francis I, General Audience 2020:

 

30 December 2020 General Audience

Catechesis on prayer - 20. The prayer of thanksgiving

Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19, Video, Text.

 

23 December 2020 General Audience

Catechesis on Christmas

Scripture Reading: Luke 2: 4-7, Video, Text.

 

21 December 2020 Audience Roman Curia

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSn6Fs0jAv4

21 December 2020 Audience with Employees of the Holy See and the Governorate of Vatican City State for Christmas wishes.

Text https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2020/12/21/201221b.html

 

16 December 2020 General Audience

Catechesis on prayer: 19. The prayer of intercession

Video Text Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:18-20, Video, Text.

 

09 December 2020 General Audience

Catechesis on prayer - 18.  The prayer of petition

Has someone forgotten about the Video Translation to English? 8-D

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 28: 1-2, 6-7. Video, Text.

Even death trembles when a Christian prays, because it knows that everyone who prays has an ally who is stronger than it: the Risen Lord. Death has already been defeated in Christ, and the day will come when everything will be final, and it will no longer scorn our life and our happiness.

Pope Francis I  (General Audience, 9 December 2020)

 

02 December 2020 General Audience

Catechesis on prayer - 17. The blessing

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6. Video, Text.

 

25 November 2020 General Audience

Catechesis on prayer - 16. The prayer of the nascent Church

Text, Video. Scripture Reading: Acts 4:23-24, 29, 31

 

18 November 2020 General Audience

Catechesis on prayer - 15. The Virgin Mary, prayerful woman

Text, Video. Scripture Reading: Luke 2:39-40

 

11 November 2020 General Audience (text)

Catechesis on prayer - 14.  The persevering prayer

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB0qR6MWPzQ

Scripture Reading: Luke 11: 9-11

 

04 November 2020 General Audience (text)

Catechesis on prayer - 13. Jesus, Teacher of prayer

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2b830kunlk

Scripture Reading: Mark 1: 32-38.

 

28 October 2020 General Audience (text)

Catechesis on prayer - 12. Jesus, man of prayer

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVHHvpjPAR4

Scripture Reading: Luke 3: 21-22.

 

21 October 2020 (video, text). Scripture Reading: Psalm 36:1-3, 5, 7-8

Catechesis: 11. The prayer of the Psalms. 2

Extracts:

The world is always present in the prayer found in the Psalter. The Psalms, for example, voice the divine promise of salvation for the weakest:.. “ ‘Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan I will now arise,’ says the Lord;  ‘I will place him in the safety for which he longs’ ” (Psalm 12:5). Or again, they warn about the danger of worldly riches because... “Man cannot abide in his pomp, he is like the beasts that perish” (Psalm 49:20). Or still, they open the horizon to God’s view of history: “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nought; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:10-11).

 

In short, where there is God, the human person must be there as well. Sacred Scripture is categorical: “We love, because he first loved us”. He always goes ahead of us. He always awaits us because He loves us first, He looks at us first, He understands us first. He always awaits us. “If any one says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen”. If you pray many rosaries each day but then gossip about others, and nourish grudges inside, if you hate others, this is truly artificial, it is not true. “And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also” (1 John 4:19-21). Scripture acknowledges the case of the person who, even though he or she sincerely searches for God, never succeeds to encounter Him; but it also affirms that the tears of the poor can never be repudiated on pain of not encountering God. God does not support the “atheism” of those who repudiate the divine image that is imprinted in every human being. That everyday atheism: I believe in God but I keep my distance from others and I allow myself to hate others. This is practical atheism. Not to recognize the human person as the image of God is a sacrilege, an abomination, the worst offense that can be directed toward the temple and the altar.

 

Dear brothers and sisters, the prayers of the Psalms help us not to fall into the temptation of the “wicked”, that is, of living, and perhaps also of praying, as if God does not exist, and as if the poor do not exist.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 21 October 2020)

 

14 October 2020 (video, text). Scripture Reading: Psalm 13: 1-2, 5-6

Catechesis: 10. The prayer of the Psalms. 1

Extracts:

And among the many questions, there is one that remains suspended, like an incessant cry that runs throughout the entire book from beginning to end. A question that we repeat many times: “Until when, Lord? Until when?” Every suffering calls for liberation, every tear calls for consolation, every wound awaits healing, every slander a sentence of absolution. “Until when, Lord, must I suffer this? Listen to me, Lord!” How many times we have prayed like this, with “Until when?”, enough now, Lord!

 

By constantly asking such questions, the Psalms teach us not to get used to pain, and remind us that life is not saved unless it is healed. The existence of each human being is but a breath, his or her story is fleeting, but the prayerful know that they are precious in the eyes of God, and so it makes sense to cry out. And this is important. When we pray, we do so because we know we are precious in God’s eyes. It is the grace of the Holy Spirit that, from within, inspires in us this awareness: of being precious in the eyes of God. And this is why we are moved to pray.

 

The prayer of the Psalms is the testimony of this cry: a multiple cry, because in life pain takes a thousand forms, and takes the name of sickness, hatred, war, persecution, distrust... Until the supreme “scandal”, that of death. Death appears in the Psalter as man’s most unreasonable enemy: what crime deserves such cruel punishment, which involves annihilation and the end? The prayer of the Psalms asks God to intervene where all human efforts are in vain. That is why prayer, in and of itself, is the way of salvation and the beginning of salvation.

 

All human pains for God are sacred. So prays the prayer of Psalm 56: “Thou hast kept count of my tossings; put thou my tears in thy bottle! Are they not in thy book?” (v. 9). Before God we are not strangers, or numbers. We are faces and hearts, known one by one, by name.

 

In the Psalms, the believer finds an answer. He knows that even if all human doors were barred, God’s door is open. Even if the whole world had issued a verdict of condemnation, there is salvation in God.

 

“The Lord listens”: sometimes in prayer it is enough to know this. Problems are not always solved. Those who pray are not deluded: they know that many questions of life down here remain unresolved, with no way out; suffering will accompany us and, after one battle, others will await us. But if we are listened to, everything becomes more bearable.

 

The worst thing that can happen is to suffer in abandonment, without being remembered. From this prayer saves us. Because it can happen, and even often, that we do not understand God’s plans. But our cries do not stagnate down here: they rise up to Him, He who has the heart of a Father, and who cries Himself for every son and daughter who suffers and dies. I will tell you something: it is good for me, in difficult moments, to think of Jesus weeping; when He wept looking at Jerusalem, when He wept before Lazarus’ tomb. God has wept for me, God weeps, He weeps for our sorrows. Because God wanted to make Himself man - a spiritual writer used to say - in order to be able to weep. To think that Jesus weeps with me in sorrow is a consolation: it helps us keep going. If we maintain our relationship with Him, life does not spare us suffering, but we open up to a great horizon of goodness and set out towards its fulfilment. Take courage, persevere in prayer. Jesus is always by our side.

Pope Francis I (General Audience, 14 October 2020)

 

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