In his ongoing catechesis on the “Our Father”, Pope Francis told pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI hall for the General Audience on Wednesday, that “true prayer is made in the intimate depths of a heart visible only to God. “It is a silent dialogue”, he said, with love at its core. “To look at God and to let oneself be looked at by God is to pray”.
Compassion for others
The Pope commented that in this way, the Christian does not forget the world, but rather brings its people and its needs into prayer. He continued by saying, that the person who prays, tells God about the pain of someone he or she met that day.
"If you don't realize that there's so many people who suffer", the Pontiff underlined, then that means one's heart is withered. “Feeling compassion" is "one of the key verbs of the Gospel".
"Let us ask ourselves”, said the Pope, “when I pray, do I open myself to the cry of so many people near and far? Or do I think of prayer as some kind of anesthesia so you can relax?”
He stressed that “Jesus doesn't want hypocrisy. “True prayer is that which is accomplished in the secret of conscience, of the heart: inscrutable, visible only to God... It avoids falsehood: with God it is impossible to pretend”. Before God, he said, tricks have no power.
No room for individualism
Pope Francis noted that in the Our Father there is the absence of the word "I". Jesus, he explained teaches us instead to pray: “your kingdom come, your will be done”. The second half of the prayer then moves from “your” to “our”: “give us our daily bread; forgive us our trespasses”. “This use of the plural, he added, shows us that Christian prayer never asks bread for just one person, but always on behalf of others." There is no room for individualism in dialogue with God.”
Jesus makes us pray, the Pope emphasized, even for those "who apparently do not seek God", because God seeks these people "more than anyone else.”