Pope at Angelus: Prayer is medicine for faith, restoring the soul

Before leading the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis encourages us to focus on what is most important, love for God and neighbour, and to pray always so our faith stays strong.

By Thaddeus Jones

Offering his reflections on the Sunday Gospel, Pope Francis recalled the question Jesus asked, which we can also ask ourselves today: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8)

He would find, unfortunately, many wars, poverty, and inequality, but also incredible technological advances with people always rushing and busy, said the Pope. But more importantly, he asked if the Lord would find people who put God at the centre of their lives.

Life priorities

The Pope said it would be good if we looked at our own lives, what is in our hearts and where we place our priorities. Could it be that without realizing it we have become burdened and overoccupied with things that in the end are secondary, while forgetting about God in the meantime?

“Today, Jesus offers us the remedy to rekindle a tepid faith. What is it? Prayer. Yes, prayer is the medicine for faith, it is the restorative of the soul.”

Pray always

To keep our faith alive and healthy, we need to pray always, the Pope emphasized. And regular prayer is key to keeping our souls in good shape.

Just as a houseplant needs water consistently, so also do our souls need prayer, he said, and it is better not to flood a plant with water and then leave it without water for long periods when it could dry up.

He also used the example of how sometimes we must take regular medicine, and it is best to do so regularly at the right times for our health.

“We need the daily water of prayer, of time dedicated to God, so that he can enter into our time; of constant moments in which we open our hearts to him so that he can daily pour out on us love, peace, joy, strength, hope, thus nourishing our faith.”

Pray and not lose heart

Understandably, many may ask themselves how they can find the time to pray, given the frenetic pace of today, the Pope admitted, but we do not have to "live in a convent" to set aside the time we need.

The Pope suggested a wise spiritual practice of the elderly that was often common and can be taken up today consisting of simple, short prayers we can easily remember, repeated throughout the day wherever we are so to remain close to the Lord and find peace in our lives.

“As soon as we awaken, we can say: “Lord, I thank you and I offer this day to you”. Then, before an activity, we can repeat, “Come, Holy Spirit”. Between one thing and another, we can pray thus, “Jesus, I trust in you and I love you”.”

Messaging the Lord through prayer

The Pope likened these short prayers to messaging the Lord the way we do every day to the people we love, and so keeping our hearts connected to Him.

But, he concluded, we also need to remember to "read his responses," which we can find in the Gospel that we should always have at hand and open daily to receive "a Word of life directed to us."

“May the Virgin Mary, faithful listener, teach us the art of praying always, without losing heart.”

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16 October 2022, 12:17