VATICAN CITY – One’s prayer should always be a dialogue with God with charitable consideration for others’ needs, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
“There is no room for individualism in dialogue with God,” Pope Francis said in his general audience February 13, noting that there is no “I” in the words of the Our Father.
One’s prayer should not contain an “ostentation of one's problems as if we were the only ones in the world to suffer,” the pope advised.
“In prayer, a Christian brings all the difficulties of the people who live next to him: When the evening descends, he tells God about the pains he has encountered on that day, putting before him many faces, friends and even enemies,” he said.
In a continuation of his weekly catechesis on the Our Father, Pope Francis focused on the prayer’s repeated use of the words “you” and “us,” rather than an individualistic “I.”
“Jesus teaches us to pray having first of all ‘You’ on our lips because Christian prayer is dialogue: ‘Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done,’” he said. It is about “you” and then “we,” a community of brothers and sisters.
“If one does not realize that there are many people around him who are suffering, if he does not have pity for the tears of the poor, if he is addicted to everything, then it means that his heart is of stone,” he said.
“In this case it is good to beg the Lord to touch us with his Spirit and to soften our heart,” he continued.
The pope warned Catholics not be hypocrites seeking attention through prayer, but to follow Christ’s instructions to pray in “the silence of your room” where one can “withdraw from the world and turn to God, calling him ‘Father’!”
Prayer “at its root, is a silent dialogue, like the crossing of glances between two people who love each other: man and God,” he explained.
Pope Francis said that “there are men who apparently do not seek God, but Jesus makes us pray for them too, because God seeks these people above all.”
“Saints and sinners, we are all brothers loved by the same Father,” the pope said.
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