Pope preaches on praying the Our Father
June 20, 2013
Christians pray to “Our Father” because they realize that they have many brothers and sisters in Christ, Pope Francis said in his homily at morning Mass on June 20.
Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus taught his disciples to pray, the Pontiff remarked that prayer is not a “magical thing,” a matter of repeating certain words. A prayer is addressed to a God who hears us, he said.
Nor do Christians pray to a “cosmic God,” the Pope continued, noting that belief in some abstract presence is common today in “a rather ‘light’ culture.” For Christians, the Pope said, prayer is addressed to a familiar person: a Father.
Recognizing God as Father has consequences for prayer, the Pope continued. “Because I am not an only child-- none of us are-- and if I cannot be a brother, I can hardly become a child of the Father, because He is a Father to all.”
Similarly, when we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses,” we acknowledge the need to forgive our neighbors, the Holy Father said, because “you cannot pray with enemies in your heart.”
Praying the Our Father with sincerity is a challenge, the Pope told his congregation:
It’s true, it is not easy. But Jesus has promised us the Holy Spirit: it is He who teaches us, from within, from the heart, how to say 'Father' and how to say 'our.’
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