By Deborah Castellano Lubov

The burning heart of every Christian prayer? Entrusting ourselves to the loving arms of Our Heavenly Father…

Pope Francis stressed this during his General Audience, this Wednesday, May 13th, 2020, in his papal library, in the midst of the pandemic of coronavirus worldwide, as he focused on essential characteristics of prayer.

Italy has entered its ‘phase two’ on May 4th, resulting in some relaxing of restrictions. Public Masses will resume across the country on Monday, May 18, the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Karol Wojtyla.

Last Wednesday, the Holy Father began a new series of catecheses on prayer, noting that it is “a cry that arises from the hearts of those who trust in God,” as he exhorted all faithful to embrace their prayer life.

In today’s catechesis, the Pope reflected on when we pray, we ought to do so with our entire being, but longing for the ‘other,’ for Christ.

When we commune with God in prayer, the Holy Father underscored, we should never be fearful, as he is not only our trusted ally, but our friend.

“Whatever our situation, or however poorly we may think of ourselves, God is always faithful, and willing to embrace us in mercy,” Francis said, reminding that on Calvary, we see the Lord “never stops loving, even to the end.”

The Holy Father called on faithful to pray through entering God’s unending Covenant with us.

“This is the burning heart of every Christian prayer: entrusting ourselves to the loving and merciful arms of our heavenly Father.”

The Pope concluded his audience with various greetings and with the Pope giving his Apostolic Blessing.

Here is the Vatican-provided English summary of today’s General Audience:

***

Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on prayer, we now consider its essential characteristics. Prayer involves our entire being yearning for some “other” beyond ourselves. Specifically Christian prayer is born from the realization that the “other” we are seeking has been revealed in the tender face of Jesus, who teaches us to call God “Father”, and wants personally to enter into relationship with us. In his farewell discourse at the Last Supper, Jesus no longer calls his disciples servants but friends. When we commune with God in prayer, we need not be fearful, for he is a friend, a trusted ally. Whatever our situation, or however poorly we may think of ourselves, God is always faithful, and willing to embrace us in mercy. We see this unconditional love on Calvary, for the Lord never stops loving, even to the end. Let us seek to pray by entering into this mystery of God’s unending Covenant with us. This is the burning heart of every Christian prayer: entrusting ourselves to the loving and merciful arms of our heavenly Father.

Speaker:

I greet the English-speaking faithful joining us through the media. In this Easter season, I invoke upon you and your families the joy and strength that come from the Risen Christ. May God bless you!

[Original text: English]
[Vatican-provided text]

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