Pope: Belief in God's Goodness Essential to Prayer

Reflects on Faith in Lives of Newly Recognized Saints

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 17, 2010 (Zenit.org).- If one does not believe in God’s goodness, he cannot truly pray, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made this reflection today at a Mass in St. Peter’s in which he canonized six newly recognized saints: Stanislaw Soltys, André Bessette, Cándida María de Jesús Cipitria y Barriola, Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Giulia Salzano and Battista Camilla Varano.

The group included the first male Canadian-born saint (André Bessette) and the first Australian saint (Mary of the Cross MacKillop).

The Holy Father began his homily reflecting on a lesson he said is fundamental in today’s liturgy: “the necessity to pray always, without tiring.”

“Sometimes we grow tired of prayer, we have the impression that prayer is not very useful for life, that it is not very effective,” he said. “Thus, we are tempted to dedicate ourselves to activity, to employ every human method to accomplish our goals, and we do not approach God. But Jesus says that we must pray always, and he does this through a specific parable.”

The Pontiff went on to reflect about the parable of the persistent widow and dishonest judge.

After recounting the story, he noted: “Jesus reflects, using an ‘a fortiori’ argument: If a dishonest judge in the end allows himself to be convinced by the entreaties of a widow, how much more will God, who is good, listen to those who pray. God in fact is generosity in person, he is merciful, and so he is always disposed to listen to prayers. 

“For this reason, we must not give up hope, but always insist in prayer.”

Basis

The Gospel concludes, Benedict XVI said, with an invitation to grow in faith.

“[P]rayer must be the expression of faith, otherwise it is not true prayer,” he said. “If one does not believe in the goodness of God, he cannot pray in a truly adequate way. Faith is essential as the basis of the attitude of prayer.”

And in this context, the Holy Father went on to offer a brief reflection on each of the newly recognized saints, speaking in several of the saints’ native languages.

At the end, he called the faithful to “give thanks to the Lord for the gift of holiness, which shines in the Church and today illumines the faces of these brothers and sisters of ours.”

“Jesus also invites each of us to follow him to inherit eternal life,” the Pope said. “Let us be drawn by the luminous examples, let us be guided by their teachings, so that our existence be a canticle of praise to God.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-30679?l=english

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