· At the General Audience the Pope asks the faithful to pray to God the Father with the Spirit of Jesus ·
Christianity is not “a religion of fear but rather of trust and love”, because it reveals to human beings the true nature of a God who has himself called “Father”. Benedict XVI said this at the General Audience of Wednesday, 23 May, in St Peter's Square, inviting the faithful to “savour in prayer the beauty of being God's friends or indeed his children, of being able to call on him with the confidence and trust that a child has for his parents who love him”.
In this regard “God's fatherhood”, the Pope remarked, is a truth that today's men and women find it hard to perceive. This is partly because the absence of the paternal figure in children's lives is “a serious problem of our time”. Christ's Gospel, on the contrary, reveals to us who “ a true father” is and how he acts, showing us “in depth what it means to say 'God is a Father to us'”.
The divine fatherhood emerges from Scripture in a dual dimension. “First of all”, the Pontiff explained, “God is our Father because he is our Creator”. Thus for him “we are not anonymous, impersonal beings but have a name”, as the touching words of Psalm 119 also testify: “Your hands have made and fashioned me”. Then the Incarnation, death and Resurrection of the Son confirm yet again our “belonging” to the Father, because in this way “in addition to entering creation we have really entered into adoption with Jesus”, becoming sons in a new way and in a new dimension”.
This explains the natural human propensity for prayer. “We would not be able to pray”, the Pope said, “if the desire for God, if our being as children of God,
were not engraved in the depths of our heart. Ever since he has existed, homo sapiens has always sought God, has sought to speak to God because God has engraved himself in our hearts”.
Prayer, moreover, is not merely an individual gesture but is an act of the entire Church. “When we address the Father in our inner room, in silence and in recollection”, Benedict XVI acknowledged, “we are never alone. We are within the great prayer of the Church, we are part of a great symphony that the Christian community, scattered all over the earth and in all epochs, raises to God”.
St. Peter’s Square
Dec. 12, 2019
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