At the general audience, referring to the first chapters of Genesis, Francis recalls that while evil spreads like wildfire, the prayer of the righteous is capable of restoring hope and is “a chain of life”
In the face of the flood wave of evil that is growing in the world, prayer shows itself as man’s “levee” and “refuge”. It is still from the Library of the Apostolic Palace that the Pope’s catechesis rises from the general audience. Continuing his cycle of reflections on prayer, Francis plumbed that of the righteous and his meaning in the history of humanity this morning. Due to the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is still without the physical presence of the faithful that the Pope addresses his words which aim to exhort not to follow the path of violence, but that of letting the heart be transformed by the Lord. (Listen to the report in the Pope’s voice)
Prayer is also to be saved by ourselves
It is a good plan that of God for humanity and yet in our events we experience the presence of evil: its expansion appears from the first chapters of the book of Genesis with the story of Adam and Eve who want to become like God and in the end, instead, they discover that they are naked: the “tempter is a poor payer”, notes the Pope. And again, with Cain and his envy for Abel “the story of the first fraternity ends with a murder” so much so that the thought of Francis goes “To human fraternity” and the wars that are everywhere. So we continue with the descent of Cain: just think of the song of Lamec which sounds like a hymn of revenge. But there is also another story that represents “the redemption of the hope “: that of Abel, Enoch and Noah.” Even if almost everyone behaves in a brutal way, making hatred and conquest the great engine of human affairs, there are people capable of praying to God with sincerity, capable of writing in different way the fate of “Man”, underlines Francesco.
Reading these stories, one gets the impression that prayer is both the embankment and the refuge of man before the flood of evil that grows in the world. On closer inspection, we also pray to be saved by ourselves. It’s important. Pray: “Lord, please, save me from myself, from my ambitions, from my passions. Save me from myself. “
Cultivating rebirth where hatred widens the desert
They are “peacemakers” because prayer, when authentic, “free from instincts of violence and is a gaze turned to God”. “This quality of prayer is experienced by a multitude of righteous in all religions”, reads the Catechism. Then, prayer “attracts the power of God”, which gives life and is reborn:
Prayer cultivates flowerbeds of rebirth in places where man’s hatred has only been able to enlarge the desert. This is why the lordship of God passes through the chain of these men and women, often misunderstood or marginalized in the world. But the world lives and grows thanks to the strength of God that these servants of his attract with their prayer. They are a chain that is not at all rowdy, which rarely leaps to the headlines, yet it is so important to restore confidence in the world!
The little prayer that sows life
In this regard, the Pope on the arm remembers a head of government from the past who was an atheist but his grandmother’s prayer remained impressed in his heart. A memory that returned in a difficult moment of his life so much that he found Jesus. “Prayer is a chain of life”, remarks Francis affirming that many men and women who pray, “sow life”. It is the “little prayer”. This is why the Pope returns to exhort, as he has done so many times, to teach children to do the sign of the cross well: even if they can take another path, that “seed of life” and of dialogue with God remains.
The path of God, therefore, passes through this “rest” which does not conform to the law of the fittest, but asks God to transform the heart of stone into the heart of flesh. “It takes a lot of humanity – concludes the Pope – and we pray well with humanity”.
St. Paul VI encourages us to embrace the ideals of the Gospel
In his greetings, Francis reminds us that the liturgical memory of Pope St. Paul VI is celebrated the day after tomorrow, hoping that his example “will encourage each one to generously embrace the Gospel ideals”. Pope Francis’ gaze also turns to the Solemnity of Pentecost, next Sunday, with the exhortation to be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit, so that life may always be illuminated “by the love that the Spirit of God pours into hearts”.
Photos from the general audience