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Pope Suggests a “Beautiful Prayer” for This Week

Notes That the Most Important Petition Is Rarely Considered

Pope Francis proposed today a beautiful prayer for this week: “Father, give me the Holy Spirit.”

The Pope offered this suggestion before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square, as he commented on the Gospel of today, which is Luke’s account of Jesus teaching the “Our Father.”

Jesus tells the disciples, “When you pray, say: Father…”

“This word is the secret of Jesus’ prayer,” the Pope said. “It is the key that he himself gives us so that we can also enter into this relationship of trusting dialogue with the Father.”

Giving space to God

The Pontiff continued: “To the name ‘Father,’ Jesus associates two petitions: ‘hallowed be your name; your kingdom come.’ Jesus’ prayer, and therefore, a Christian’s prayer, is before all to give space to God, allowing him to manifest his holiness in us and allowing the advance of his kingdom by the possibility of exercising his lordship of love in our lives.”

The next three petitions of the Our Father, Francis explained, “express our fundamental needs: bread, forgiveness and help in temptation.”

The bread is the bread of a pilgrim, he said, “a bread that doesn’t accumulate and doesn’t go to waste, that doesn’t weigh down our journey.”

Forgiveness, meanwhile, is “above all that which we receive from God.” And it’s our awareness of this forgiveness of our own sins that “can make us capable of carrying out concrete gestures of fraternal reconciliation.”

Finally, Francis said, “the last request — do not abandon us in temptation — expresses an awareness of our condition, ever exposed to the deceit of evil and corruption. All of us know what a temptation is!”

Complete confidence

The Pope then reflected on the two parables that complete today’s Gospel.

“Both aim to teach us to have complete trust in God, who is Father,” he said.

We pray to the Father with “audacity and insistence” even though he knows better than us what we need, “because this is our way of participating in his work of salvation.”

“Prayer is the first and principal ‘work tool’ in our hands,” the Pope said. “To insist [on something] with God is not in order to convince him, but rather to strengthen our faith and our patience, that is, our capacity to fight beside God for the things that are truly important and necessary. In prayer we are a pair: God and me, fighting together for what is important.”

Holy Spirit

And the great important thing, the Pope said, is one we “hardly every consider.”

Jesus says, “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

“The Holy Spirit! We need to ask that the Holy Spirit comes to us,” Francis exclaimed. “[…]How beautiful a prayer it would be if in this week, each one of us would ask the Father, ‘Father, give me the Holy Spirit.’

“The Virgin Mary shows us this with her existence, wholly animated by the Spirit of God. She helps us to pray to the Father united to Jesus, so as to live not in a worldly way, but in accord with the Gospel, guided by the Holy Spirit.”

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/angelus-text-on-the-key-to-christian-prayer/

About Kathleen Naab

United States

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