"Through prayer we encounter the joy of God's unexpected gifts," said the Holy Father
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his reflections on family life, focusing especially on the importance of finding time for prayer.
Greeting visitors from many different countries, gathered for the weekly General Audience in St Peter’s Square, the Pope said families often experience difficulty in devoting time for prayer. But he said a heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or small gesture of devotion into a moment of prayer.
Pope Francis noted that family life is complicated and time consuming: parents, he said, should win Nobel prizes for the way they manage to squeeze 48 hours’ work into just 24 hours! But if we truly love God with all our hearts, and all our mind, and all our strength, he said, we will discover that the heart of prayer is the love of God, who constantly caresses us with his love.
The Pope urged parents to teach their children to pray, to read the bible and to make the sign of the Cross so that their homes may become places where Jesus always finds a warm welcome.
Please find below the English summary of Pope Francis’ remarks at the Wednesday General Audience
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our continuing catechesis on the family, today we reflect on the importance of devoting time to prayer. We all know how important prayer is, yet it seems so difficult to find time for it. Perhaps we need to ask if we truly love God, as he asks us to, with all our heart, and all our mind and all our strength. For the heart of prayer is the love of God, the source of our life, who constantly “caresses” us with his own love.
A heart filled with the love of God can make even a silent thought or a small gesture of devotion a moment of prayer. The Holy Spirit teaches us to pray, to call God our Father, and to grow daily in his love. Our families need to ask for the gift of the Spirit! Through prayer, even in the busiest times, we give time back to God, we find the peace that comes from appreciating the important things, and we encounter the joy of God’s unexpected gifts. Through daily prayer may our homes become, like the house of Martha and Mary, places where Jesus always finds a warm welcome.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Denmark, Malta, China, Dubai, Nigeria, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke an abundance of joy and peace in the Lord Jesus. God bless you all!