Thursday, January 27, 2005

Humble Prayer Moves God's Heart, Says Pope

Prayer, especially in times of despair and anguish, moves the heart of God if offered with humility, says John Paul II. The Pope gave that commentary on Psalm 114(116), a song of thanksgiving raised by the man at prayer, at today's general audience...

"It is a brief but intense prayer of the man who, finding himself in a desperate situation, holds fast to the only plank of salvation," said the Holy Father...

"Once saved, the person at prayer proclaims that the Lord is 'gracious and just,' more than that, 'merciful,'" he said. "This last adjective, in the Hebrew original, makes reference to the tenderness of a mother.

"Genuine trust always sees God as love, even if at times it is difficult to understand his actions. It is certain, nevertheless, that 'The Lord protects the simple.' Therefore, in misery and abandonment, one can always count on him, 'Father of the fatherless, defender of widows.'"

The Pope continued: "Invoked with faith, the Lord extended his hand, broke the coils that encircled the person at prayer, dried the tears from his eyes, and stopped his precipitous descent into the infernal abyss."

The song, he reminded the faithful, "ends with a scene of light: The person at prayer returns to 'the land of the living,' that is, to the paths of the world, to 'walk before the Lord.'"

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