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Pope continues meditation on Christ's prayer on the Cross

Catholic World News - February 15, 2012

At his public audience on February 15, Pope Benedict XVI continued a meditation that he had introduced at his previous weekly audience, on the prayers the Jesus offered just before his death.

With his final words before death, the Pope said, Jesus offers the faithful “binding guidelines for our own prayer.” Using three of Christ’s utterances from the Cross, as reported in the Gospel of St. Luke, the Pontiff said that the Lord shows believers that “we will never fall out of God’s hands: the hands that created us and which support and accompany us on life’s journey.”

Pope Benedict quoted first Christ’s prayer for forgiveness for his executioners: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The Pope noted that Jesus attributes the soldiers’ actions to ignorance, and “ignorance opens the way to conversion.”

Next Jesus assured the “good thief” that he would join him that day in Paradise. Here, the Pope remarked, Jesus gives us an inexhaustible source of hope, “that God’s goodness can touch us even in the final instant of existence,” and that a sincere prayer will always meet with a loving response from the merciful Father.

Finally, Jesus commends his spirit to the Father. This, the Pope said, is model for model for all. Facing immediate death, Jesus “is pervaded by that profound calm which arises from faith in the Father and the desire to entrust oneself to Him completely.”

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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Feb. 15, 2012 8:11 PM ET USA

    One thing I like to reflect on is how there were two thieves and only one was given paradise, showing us that the grace of final perserverance is NOT given to everyone. We can pray for deathbed conversions and we ought to but the story of the two thieves shows us that it is a sin of presumption to believe that everyone will be given that grace. The second thief was crucified next to our Lord and still died unrepentant and blind. That is food for thought...

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