Pope Francis: Learning how to pray

This week, Pope Francis used his weekly general audience to deliver a message of prayer.

“Learning to pray is a continual process, but it should always start from a place of humility, as Jesus demonstrated in the Gospels,” Francis said Wednesday.

“Even if we have being praying for so many years, we must always learn,” he said. “The prayer of man, this yearning that is born so naturally from his soul, is perhaps one of the most impenetrable mysteries of the universe.”

The first step, the Pope explained, is humility. “Go to the father… go to the Madonna, say, ‘Look at me, I am a sinner, I am a debtor, I am disobedient’, but begin with humility.”

Francis also spoke about the fact that Jesus himself was a man of prayer, despite the demands of his earthly mission, as stated in the first chapter of Mark. “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.”

He continued, “Here is the essential point... Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed intensely in public moments, sharing the liturgy of his people, but he also sought collected places, separate from the spin of the world, places that allowed him to descend into the secret of his soul.”

The way Jesus prayed, however, “also contained a mystery,” Francis noted, “something that certainly did not escape the eyes of his disciples, as we find in the Gospels that simple and immediate supplication: ‘Lord, teach us to pray.’”

He concluded by pointing out that Jesus taught his disciples—and all of us—to pray. “He came precisely to introduce us into his relationship [with] the father.”

“Teacher, teach us to pray,” he said. “It would be nice in this time of Advent to repeat it: Lord, teach me to pray.”

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Alexander Foster Image
Alexander Foster

Alexander Foster is the Digital Communications Officer in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle