Pope Francis reflected on the power of prayer during his Tuesday morning homily at Casa Santa Marta. He said that prayer prevents the heart from hardening.
He recalled women who achieve miracles through prayer, like Saint Monica who was able, with her tears, to be granted the grace of conversion with her son, Saint Augustine.
"Prayer works miracles; it works miracles for Christians, whether they be faithful laypeople, priests, bishops who have lost compassion. The prayers of the faithful change the Church: it’s not us popes, bishops, priests or nuns who carry the Church forward, but Saints. Saints are those who dare to believe that God is the Lord and that He can do everything.”
Lastly, Pope Francis recalled that sometimes we pray without knowing how to ask for the Lord's grace.
EXTRACTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source : Vatican Radio)
"Hannah was praying silently, her lips moved but her voice was not heard. Hers is the courage of a woman of faith who is weeping and grieving and asks the Lord for his grace. There are many good women in the Church, many! They place all their trust in prayer... Let us think of one of them, Saint Monica who was able, with her tears, to be granted the grace of conversion for her son, Saint Augustine. There are so many” the Pope said.
Eli, the priest, is "a poor man” towards whom, Francis says, he feels "a certain sympathy” because – he explains - "I find faults in myself that allow me to understand him well and feel close to him.” "How easily - the Pope continues – do we judge people and lack the respect to say: 'I wonder what he has in his heart? I do not know, but I will say nothing...’ When the heart lacks compassion one always thinks evil" and does not understand those who pray "with pain and anguish” and "entrust that pain and anguish to the Lord”.
"Jesus knows this kind of prayer. When he was in Gethsemane and was so anguished and hurt he sweated blood, He did not accuse the Father: ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done’”. Jesus responded in the same way of the woman: with meekness. Sometimes, we pray, we ask things of God, but often we do not know how to engage with the Lord, to ask for grace” he said.