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Praying is opening the door to the Lord: Pope Francis at Santa Marta

2013-10-08

Pope Francis explained the importance of praying, during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta. In his homily he spoke about the need to pray from the heart, not just with words, in order to open up to the Lord. He said that praying can work miracles. 

POPE FRANCIS 
"And we ourselves, when we don’t pray, what we’re doing is closing the door to the Lord. And not praying is this: closing the door to the Lord, so that He can do nothing. On the other hand, prayer, in the face of a problem, a difficult situation, a calamity, is opening the door to the Lord so that He will come. So that He builds things, He knows to arrange things, to reorganize things. This is what praying is: opening the door to the Lord, so that he can do something.” 

To illustrate his point, the Pope used the example of when St. Martha scolded her sister Mary Magdalene for listening to Jesus preach instead of serving him. Jesus responded that Mary had done no wrong because her first task was to pray. 

EXCERPTS FROM POPE'S HOMILY 
(Source: Vatican Radio) 

 "To the eyes of the sister, this was time lost, it even seemed, perhaps, a bit of a fantasy: gazing upon the Lord as if she were a awestruck child. But who wants that? The Lord: ‘This is the better part,’ because Mary heard the Lord and prayed with her heart. And the Lord tells us: ‘the first task in life is this: prayer.’ But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but the prayer from the heart: gazing upon the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord. We know that prayer works miracles.

"And Martha did this. But she didn’t pray! But there are others like this stubborn Jonah, who are the executioners. He went, he prophesied, but in his heart he said: ‘They deserve it. They deserve it. They were asking for it!’ He prophesied, but he didn’t pray! He didn’t ask the Lord to forgive him. Only to punish them. They are executioners, those that believe themselves to be just! And in the end, the book of Jonah shows, it is seen that he was a selfish man. When the Lord saved Nineveh through the prayer of the people, he became angry with the Lord: ‘You are always like that. You always forgive!’  

"And we ourselves, when we don’t pray, what we’re doing is closing the door to the Lord. And not praying is this: closing the door to the Lord, so that He can do nothing. On the other hand, prayer, in the face of a problem, a difficult situation, a calamity, is opening the door to the Lord so that He will come. So that He builds things, He knows to arrange things, to reorganize things. This is what praying is: opening the door to the Lord, so that he can do something. But if we close the door, God can do nothing! Let us think of this Mary who has chosen the better part, and shows us the way, how to open the door to the Lord.” 


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