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Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Vatican City, 30 May 2012 (VIS) - During his general audience this morning, which was celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father continued a series of catecheses on Christian prayer according to St. Paul who, the Pope said, saw it as "a real individual encounter with God the Father, in Christ, through the Holy Spirit. This dialogue comprehends the faithful 'yes' on the part of God and the trusting 'amen of the faithful".

In his explanation of this relationship Benedict XVI focused on the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where the Apostle writes: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God".

Comfort, the Pope explained, is not to be understood as mere consolation, but as an "exhortation not to allow ourselves to be overcome by tribulations and difficulties. We are invited to experience every situation in unity with Christ, Who takes all the suffering and sin of the world upon Himself in order to bring light, hope and redemption. Thus He enables us, in our turn, to console those who are afflicted by any kind of suffering". Profound union with Christ in prayer, and confidence in His presence, predispose us to share the sufferings of our brothers and sisters.

"Our life and our Christian journey are often marked by difficulty, misunderstandings and pain", the Holy Father went on. "In a faithful relationship with the Lord, in constant daily prayer, we are able to feel the consolation that comes from God. This strengthens our faith because it means that we enjoy a concrete experience of God's 'yes' to man ... in Christ, the faithfulness of His love which went so far as to give His Son on the cross".

The faith, a gratuitous gift of God, is rooted in His fidelity, "in His 'yes' which leads us to understand how to live our lives while loving Him and our neighbour. The entire history of salvation is a progressive revelation of this fidelity of God's, despite our own infidelity and our constant denials".

In this context the Pope pointed out that God's way of acting is quite different from that of man. "Faced with conflict in human relationships, often even within the family, we tend not to persevere in gratuitous love, which requires commitment and sacrifice. However God never loses patience with us and, in His immense mercy, precedes us always and comes out to meet us. ... On the cross He offers us the measure of His love, which is not calculated and has no limit". Such faithful love can wait even for those who reject it. God always seeks man and wishes to welcome him into His communion, to give him fullness of life, hope and peace.

Onto the 'yes' of God is grafted the 'amen' of the Church, the response of faith with which we conclude our prayers and which expresses our own 'yes' to God's initiative. "In our prayers we are called to say 'yes' to God, to respond with an 'amen' which is an expression of adherence, of faithfulness to Him with all of our lives. But we can never achieve such faithfulness by our own powers, it is not only the result of our daily efforts; it comes from God and is founded on the 'yes' of Christ. ... We must enter into Christ's 'yes' by following God's will so that, with St. Paul, we too can affirm that it is not we who live, but Christ Himself Who lives in us. Then the 'amen' of our individual and community prayers will embrace and transform all of our lives".


  1. The Holy Father is a man of deep spirituality in the tradition of the great Doctors of the Church. Our Vicar of Christ is a man of such compassion and a master of the Homily that every word he writes illuminates the issues he takes up. I pray the Rosary that Our Queen of Heaven help him bare the burden of his Office especially in these times.
    Professor Emeritus
    John R. Catan Ph.D.

  2. Those who have ears to hear will hear the Pope's beautiful discourse on prayer, those who do not we must pray for. May our Holy Father, the imago dei of our Heavenly Father on earth continue to prosper and deliver the words of Holy Scripture to a parched world. My affection, love and prayers for you on your journey.
    Professor John Catan Ph.D.


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