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Pope speaks on understanding God's fatherly love

Catholic World News - May 23, 2012

Continuing his series of weekly talks on prayer in the epistles of St. Paul, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to his public audience on March 23 about the Apostle’s words on “the Holy Spirit, who enables us to call upon God as ‘Abba,’ our Father.”

The ability to address God as a loving Father is a key component of Christian prayer, and is evidence that Christianity is “not a religion of fear but rather of trust and love,” the Pope told the 20,000 who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his regular Wednesday audience.

God looks upon every human person as unique, and wants to be close to each one of us, the Pope said. In God’s eyes “we are not anonymous, impersonal begins, but have a name.”

"Perhaps mankind today does not perceive the beauty, greatness and profound consultation contained in the word 'Father' with which we can address God in prayer, because often the paternal figure is not sufficiently present or positive in daily life,” the Pope suggested.

St. Paul reminded the early Christians that God the Father was anxious to protect, to help, to forgive, and always to love the faithful. “We would not be able to pray,” Pope Benedict told his audience, “if the desire for God, if our being as children of God, were not engraved in the depths of our hearts.”

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