Pope Says Prayer Is "Ray of Light" in Self-Sufficient World

General Audience Address Focuses on Psalm 116(117)

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 5, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The prayer of praise of God for his love and faithfulness becomes a witness that is capable of transforming the world, says John Paul II.

The «experience of prayer should be radiated in the world, transforming itself in witness for those who do not share our faith,» the Pope said during today’s general audience. He dedicated his address to commenting on the shortest Psalm, 116(117), an intense invitation to praise God for his love.

In the poetic passage, the Psalmist considers that «the beauty and joy of faith» should be able to «overcome» «all you peoples» and «all you nations» with «the desire to know, encounter and praise God,» the Holy Father said.

The strength of prayer lies in the contemplation of two fundamental truths: the love and faithfulness of God, John Paul II added, as he addressed thousands of pilgrims gathered in Paul VI Hall.

«In a technological world threatened by an eclipse of the sacred, in a society that takes pleasure in a certain self-sufficiency, the witness of the man of prayer is like a ray of light in the darkness,» the Pope stressed.

«Initially, it might only awaken curiosity, then it can induce the reflective person to question himself on the meaning of prayer and, finally, it can arouse a growing desire to have the experience,» he said.

«Because of this, prayer is never a solitary event, but tends to expand until it involves the whole world,» the Holy Father concluded.

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