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Regular prayer is vital, Pope tells audience

Catholic World News - August 01, 2012

A regular life of prayer is essential to salvation, Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience on August 1.

Speaking to a large group that crowded the courtyard of his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father continued his series of “School of Prayer” meditations. Noting that the day was the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguri, the founder of the Redemptorist order, the Pontiff focused on the thoughts of that 18th-century saint.

St. Alphonsus played an important role in encouraging the sacrament of Penance, the Pope said. “In a time of great rigor, the result of the influence of Jansenism,” the saint urged priests to take a different approach, “expressing the joyful embrace of God the Father.”

The Pope went on to speak about the famous dictum of St. Alphonsus: “He who prays is certainly saved; he who does not pray is certainly damned.” A regular prayer life keeps the faithful open to the voice of the Holy Spirit, the Pope said, and a neglect of prayer opens distance between the soul and God. The Pope said that “if we do not pray we have no excuse, because the grace of prayer is given to everyone.” Therefore, he added, “if we are not saved, the whole fault will be ours.”

Before concluding the Pope told his audience to continue praying every day, making sure to take time for prayer particularly during vacations.

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