Photo from Oct. 7, 2020, General Audience - Copyright; Vatican Media

Pope at General Audience: Like Elijah, Let’s Persevere in Prayer, Discern Daily God’s Will & Find Consolation

Due to Rain, Holy Father Holds General Audience in Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, 1st Time Since Pandemic

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“May we too, like the Prophet Elijah, persevere in prayer, strive to discern God’s will every day of our lives, and come to experience, even at times of uncertainty and trial, the consolation of his presence and providential care.”

Pope Francis expressed this hope at his weekly General Audience, today, Oct. 7, 2020, the first General Audience held in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall since the pandemic’s virus, due to the Roman rain.
This morning, the Holy Father continued his new series of catecheses on prayer, focusing specifically on the prophet Elijah.
In the Gospels, the Jesuit Pope reminded, Elijah appears with Moses on the Mount of the Transfiguration, bearing witness to Jesus as the fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies. Moreover, in the monastic tradition, the prophet is venerated above all, in the monastic tradition as a model of prayer and unshakeable faith amid trials.

Prayer and contemplation, Francis underscored, sustained Elijah not only in moments of great success, but also when faced with persecution and adversity.

“Elijah teaches us that fervent prayer and union with God cannot be separated from concern for the needs of others,” the Holy Father said, noting: “In prayer, he grew in discernment of the Lord’s will and found the courage to denounce injustice, even at great personal cost.”

The culmination of Elijah’s experience of God in prayer, the Pope emphasized, was when the Lord appeared to him not in wind and fire, “but in a quiet whisper.”

“May we too, like the Prophet,” Pope Francis prayed, “persevere in prayer, strive to discern God’s will every day of our lives, and come to experience, even at times of uncertainty and trial, the consolation of his presence and providential care.”

The Holy Father gave special greetings to English-speaking faithful. Invoking the joy and peace of the Lord, upon all of them and their families, he said: “God bless you!”

Following the health indications of the Authorities, the General Audiences generally have been taking place in the San Damaso Courtyard starting at 9:30 a.m.

Individuals enter from the Bronze Doors of the right colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, as early as 7:30 a.m. Pilgrims are to maintain proper social distancing, sanitize hands, have temperatures taken and pass through security clearance. To reach the Courtyard of San Damaso, faithful go past the masked Swiss Guards, climb about 75 steps, before arriving at the site of the audience. It is rare for faithful and pilgrims to have access to this space.

See full text of Pope’s commentary here

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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