Trust in God Is Safeguard Against Despair, Says Pope

Comments on Psalm 85(86) at General Audience

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 23, 2002 ( Unbreakable trust in God is the guarantee that frees the believer from despair amid the vicissitudes of life, John Paul II says. At today’s general audience, which attracted 16,000 people to St. Peter’s Square, the Pope continued with his series of meditations on the canticles of the Old Testament, specifically on Psalm 85(86).

The song becomes for the Psalmist a «praise to the merciful God, who does not let him fall into despair and death, into evil and sin,» because he is «merciful and gracious, slow to anger, most loving to all who call on you.»

«Only God can offer full deliverance, because all depend on him as creatures and all must turn to him in an attitude of adoration,» the Pope said, when commenting on the Psalm that the Jews sang for Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.

«Indeed, he manifests his wondrous works, which attest to his absolute lordship in the cosmos and in history,» he added.

In order to have this trust in God, it is necessary to pray to him for «a simple heart, like that of an infant, who without duplicity or calculation entrusts himself fully to the Father to direct him on the road of life,» the Pope explained.

Quoting St. Augustine, John Paul II said that the serenity transmitted by this supplication is founded on the fact that the holiness — that is, faithfulness to God — of the believer and of the Church itself, is not due to their own merit but is a gift of God.

Therefore, the Pope encouraged prayer that is «full of trusting abandonment and hope» at the beginning of the day, which might bring with it «not only commitments and efforts, but also misunderstandings and difficulties.»

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