Holy Father Proposes Prayer to Begin Day Without Fear

Meditation on Psalm 118[119] at General Audience

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II counseled the faithful to begin the day with an intense prayer of confidence in God, who “listens and intervenes.”

At today´s general audience, the Holy Father continued with his series of meditations on the Psalms and Canticles of the Old Testament, which Christians pray in the Liturgy of the Hours. On this occasion, the Pope chose Psalm 118[119], the longest biblical hymn.

The Psalm is a poetic passage that, as the Pope reminded his audience, French philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) prayed daily.

The Pontiff invited Christians to make this passage a “living and timely prayer,” as theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer did, before his death at the hands of the Nazis in 1945.

The Church highlights the 19th stanza of the Psalm, which offers an intense prayer at the dawn of a new day: “I call with all my heart, O Lord; answer me that I may observe your laws. … I rise before the dawn and cry out; I put my hope in your words.”

“When dawn appears over the horizon,” the Pope explained while reciting this prayer, “the faithful is certain that the Lord hears the one who has spent the night in prayer.”

“Comforted by this awareness, in face of the day that opens before him, he will no longer fear dangers,” the Holy Father added. “He knows he will not be overcome by his enemies who treacherously besiege him, because the Lord is with him.”

Thus prayer becomes “the exaltation of a conviction: We are not alone, because God listens and intervenes,” John Paul II concluded.

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