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Pope: When things are dark, know Jesus has taken on every cry, every groan

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 11/11/20

"Jesus, in fact, is not only a witness and teacher of prayer; He is more. He welcomes us in His prayer"

“Christ is everything for us, even in our prayer life,” Pope Francis said November 11, as he continued his teaching on Jesus’ lessons on prayer.

After considering three parables on prayer, the Holy Father noted:

The teaching of the Gospel is clear: we need to pray always, even when everything seems in vain, when God appears to be deaf and mute and it seems we are wasting time. Even if heaven is overshadowed, the Christian does not stop praying.

The pope acknowledged that sometimes faith can seem like “an illusion, a sterile exertion,” and that every life has moments of darkness.

“But,” he said, “the practice of prayer means accepting even this exertion. […] We must continue exerting ourselves in the tough moments, the moments in which we feel nothing. Many saints experienced the night of faith and God’s silence – when we call and God does not respond – and these saints were persevering.”

Praying IN Jesus

The Holy Father reiterated his lesson from an earlier general audience in this series, saying that our prayer is in fact swept up in the prayer of Christ himself.

During those nights of faith, the one who prays is never alone. Jesus, in fact, is not only a witness and teacher of prayer; He is more. He welcomes us in His prayer so that we might pray in Him and through Him. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, the Gospel invites us to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name. Saint John provides these words of the Lord: “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (14:13). And the Catechism explains that “the certitude that our petitions will be heard is founded on the prayer of Jesus” (n. 2614). It gives the wings that the human person’s prayer has always desired to possess. … Without Jesus, our prayer risks being reduced to human effort, destined most of the time to failure. But He has taken on Himself every cry, every groan, every jubilation, every supplication … every human prayer.

Pope Francis reminded that it is the Holy Spirit who prays in us.

It is He who leads us to pray, who leads us to Jesus. He is the gift that the Father and the Son gave us to foster an encounter with God. And when we pray, it is the Holy Spirit who prays in our hearts.

“Christ is everything for us, even in our prayer life,” the pope said.

He cited a phrase of St. Augustine, found in the Catechism, which enlightens Jesus’ role in prayer:

Jesus “prays for us as our priest, prays in us as our Head, and is prayed to by us as our God. Therefore let us acknowledge our voice in him and his in us” (n. 2616).

“This is why the Christian who prays fears nothing,” the pope said. ” He or she trusts in the Holy Spirit who was given to us as a gift and who prays in us, eliciting prayer. May the Holy Spirit, Teacher of prayer, teach us the path of prayer.”

Read more:
The 7-word prayer Pope Francis learned from his grandmother

Pope FrancisPrayer
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