The pontiff affirms that the moment of prayer is not easy, which is why many of us “run” from prayer. He also talks about the other side of prayer, which is not always joyful, and sometimes also fatigue and annoyance and explains that for this reason it is often a “fight” in which we have to fight.
Miria Bonilla – Vatican
Today, Pope Francis has continued his Christian teaching cycle on Christian prayer, asserting that “prayer is not an easy thing” and that none of the great speakers we find in the Bible and in the history of the Church “have received prayer. Comfortable.” In fact, he said: “You can pray Like parrots – such, such and such – but this one does not pray. “
During the public interview this Wednesday, May 12th, the Supreme Pontiff wanted to show the other side of the prayer, which is not usually talked about, which is that “internal fighting, sometimes difficult – as the Pope says – can also accompany for a long time. Periods of life.” Francis said: “Prayer is not easy, which is why we flee from prayer.” He also made it clear that all men and women of God not only mention the joy of prayer, but also the discomfort and exhaustion that can cause. The Pope said that “some saints pushed it forward for years without feeling any taste, without realizing its usefulness,” explaining that silence, prayer and concentration “are difficult and sometimes rebellious exercises against human nature.” “We prefer to be in any other part of the world, but not there, in this pulpit who prays.” The Holy Father continues, and remembers that whoever wants to pray must remember that faith is not easy, and sometimes it continues almost in the dark. Total, without points Reference. “
Catechesis lists a long line of enemies of prayer
Later, he focused on the “enemies of prayer” who are cited by catechesis, who make prayer difficult and who put us in trouble, such as “some people suspecting that it can truly reach the Almighty.” On the other hand – says the Pope – “Others suspect that prayer is just a psychological process. Something that may be beneficial, but it is not real or necessary: one can be a practitioner without being a believer. The Pope affirms that the staunchest enemy of prayer is ‘within us’, as Catechesis calls them: “frustration in the face of drought, sadness at not giving ourselves up completely to the Lord, because we have“ many good things, ”and disappointment at all. To be listened to at our will; Wounding our pride that strengthens our unworthiness of sinners, the difficult acceptance of free prayer, etc. “
In the history of spirituality we find useful examples to this day
Faced with this situation in which prayer is not always “rosy”, the Pope invites us to explore the history of spirituality, as we immediately notice how the Soul Masters were very clear about the situation we described and overcoming it, each of them made some contributions that showed the importance of persistence and perseverance in prayer . “It would be interesting to review at least some of this advice – he says – for example, the spiritual exercises of Saint Ignatius de Loyola that teach how to arrange one’s life. It makes us understand that the Christian vocation is a jihad, it is a decision to be under the banner of Jesus Christ and not Under the banner of Satan, trying to do good even when it becomes difficult. ”
Francis also gives an example of Saint Anthony, the founder of Christian monasticism, in Egypt, who “faced horrific moments when prayer turned into violent fighting,” as the Pope said. His biographer Saint Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, relates that one of the worst events occurred to the holy hermit at the age of thirty-five, which is the phase of middle age that is fraught with crisis for many. Antonio was troubled by this test, but he resisted. When he finally returned to serenity, he addressed his Lord in an almost hurtful tone: “Where have you been? Why did you not come immediately to put an end to my suffering?” Jesus answered, “I was there, Antonio. But I was hoping to see you fighting.
These are just examples that the Supreme Pontiff wanted to convey encouragement, but the most important thing is to remember that Jesus is always with us: “If in a moment of blindness we cannot see His presence, we will succeed in the future.”
Strive in prayer to seek grace
At the end of the public meeting, the Holy Father painted another example, this time, based on an experience he had closely lived while in a diocese in Argentina. It is the story of a couple who have a nine-year-old daughter with a disease that doctors did not know what it was and diagnosed it as incurable. Doctors told parents that the little girl had hours to live. “A man might not go to Mass every Sunday – as the Pope said – but he had great faith.” Francisco goes on to tell that the girl’s father, after the news, took a train and made the 70-kilometer journey to the Basilica of Our Lady Logan, the patron saint of Argentina. When he arrived, the church was already closed, the clock was approaching ten at night, but the man clung to the bars of the church and all night long prayed to the Virgin, fighting for his daughter’s health. “This is not a fiction. I saw it!” Says Francisco. Finally, at six in the morning, I opened the church and entered to greet the Virgin and returned home. “He was fighting all night.” And when he arrived, he saw his wife smiling and saying, “I don’t know what happened, the doctors say this is He has changed and she has already been healed. ”That man who struggled with prayer received the blessing of the Virgin, the Virgin listened to him. And I have seen him: Prayer works miracles, ”the Pope pointed out, recalling this example of the importance of jihad in prayer to seek grace.
The liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima
After the catechesis, Pope Francis warmly received the Poles, reminding that he would celebrate tomorrow the liturgical anniversary of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima. Francis said: “Let us place ourselves confidently, under her maternal protection, especially when we encounter difficulties in our life of prayer.”
Memory of the attack on Saint John Paul II
When welcoming the Poles, the Pope noted that tomorrow also marks “the fortieth anniversary of the attack on Saint John Paul II.” The Supreme Pontiff said: “He himself has confirmed with conviction that he owes his life to Our Lady of Fatima.” This event makes us realize that our life and world history are in the hands of God. To the Immaculate Heart of Mary we entrust the Church, ourselves, and the whole world. We ask in prayer for peace, the end of the plague, and the spirit of repentance and our conversion. “