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Pope explains what the opening lines of the Apocalypse, can teach us about prayer

2012-09-05

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

"Today we consider the theme of prayer as found at the start of the Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse.  In some ways, it is a difficult book, but it contains many riches.  Even the opening verses of the Book contain a great deal: they tell us that prayer means, above all, listening to the God who speaks to us. 

Today, amid the din of so many useless words, many people have lost the habit of listening, even to God’s word.  The opening lines of the Apocalypse teach us that prayer is not just more words, asking God to grant our various needs, but rather it must begin as praise to God for his love, and for his gift of Jesus Christ, who has brought us strength, hope and salvation.

We are to welcome Jesus into our lives, to proclaim our “Yes!” to Christ and to nourish and deepen our Christian living.  Constant prayer will reveal to us the meaning of God’s presence in our lives and in history.  Prayer with others, liturgical prayer in particular, will deepen our awareness of the crucified and risen Jesus in our midst.  Thus, the more we know, love and follow Christ, the more we will want to meet him in prayer, for he is the peace, hope and strength of our lives.

I am pleased to welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present today, including those from England, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States.  I am especially pleased to welcome the group of Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit as well as the young men and women of the Focolare Movement who have been participating in this year’s Genfest in Budapest.  Dear young people, you have taken to heart Christ’s call to promote unity in the human family by courageously building bridges.

I therefore encourage you: be strong in your Catholic faith; and let the simple joy, the pure love, and the profound peace that come from the encounter with Jesus Christ make you radiant witnesses of the Good News before the young people of your own lands.  God bless all of you abundantly!"