Pope considers how King David always turned to God, during his times of holiness and his times of great sin.
In his catechesis series on prayer, Pope Francis on June 24 turned to the example of King David, noting that prayer is a “golden thread” that ran through his life, even when he had turned to horrific sin.
The pope reflected on David’s life as a shepherd, and how in this we see him as a precursor to the Good Shepherd, Christ.
He worked in the open air: we can think of him as a friend of the wind, of the sounds of nature, of the sun’s rays. He has only one companion to comfort his soul: his harp; and during those long days spent in solitude, he loves to play and to sing to his God. He also played with the slingshot!
Francis also noted David’s “poetic soul.”
The world that presented itself before his eyes was not a silent scene: as things unraveled before his gaze he observed a greater mystery.
That is exactly where prayer arises: from the conviction that life is not something that takes us by surprise, but a stupefying mystery that inspires poetry, music, gratitude, praise, even lament and supplication in us. When a person lacks that poetic dimension, let’s say, when poetry is missing, his or her soul limps.
The lesson of prayer to draw from David’s life, the pope said, is that it was constant. David was “holy and sinful, persecuted and persecutor, victim and murderer, which is a contradiction. David was all of this, together.”
In this sense, we are all a bit like him, with a mix of goodness and sin. But, the “one single golden thread running through David’s life, that gave unity to everything that happened [is] his prayer.”
That is the voice that was never extinguished. David the saint prays: David the sinner prays; David, persecuted, prays; David the persecutor prays. Even David the murderer prays. This is the golden thread running through his life. A man of prayer. That is the voice that is never silenced. Whether it assumed tones of jubilation or lament, it is always the same prayer, it is only the melody that changes.
Thus, said Pope Francis, David teaches us to “let everything enter into dialogue with God: joy as well as guilt, love as well as suffering, friendship as much as sickness. Everything can become a word spoken to the ‘You’ who always listens to us.”
“[Prayer] is capable of securing a relationship with God who is the true Companion on the journey of every man and woman, in the midst of life’s thousand adversities, good or bad: but always prayer,” he said.
Thank you, Lord … I am afraid, Lord … Help me, Lord … Forgive me, Lord … David’s trust is so great that, when he was persecuted and had to flee, he did not let anyone defend him: “If my God humiliates me thus, He knows what He is doing,” because the nobility of prayer leaves us in God’s hands. Those hands wounded by love: the only sure hands we have.