During the general audience, the Pope explained how to invoke God's mercy. "Rather than ask how much we pray, we can ask how we do it, or better yet, how can our hearts assess the thoughts and feelings, and remove all arrogance," he explained.
Following the parable of the proud Pharisee and the humble publican, he recalled the latter: "He repented of his sins, he begged for God's mercy and remembered the necessary conditions in order to receive the Lord's forgiveness and become an image of the true believer."
SUMMARY OF CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now turn to the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18: 9-14). Jesus contrasts the arrogance and self-righteousness of the Pharisee's prayer with the tax collector's humble recognition of his sinfulness and need for the Lord's mercy.
True prayer is born of a heart which repents of its faults and failings, yet pleads for the grace to live the great commandment of love of God and neighbor. Indeed, the proud disdain of the Pharisee for the sinner at his side Prevents him from being righteous in God's sight.
To pray well, then, we need to look into our own hearts and there, in humble silence, let the Lord speak to us. The honesty and humility which God asks of us is the necessary condition for our receiving His mercy.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the model of such prayer. In her Magnificat, she tells us That God looks with favor on the humility of His servants, and hears Their plea. May she, our Mother, help us to pray as we ought.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims present at today's Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Canada and the United States of America. With fervent wishes that this Jubilee of Mercy is for you and your families a time of grace and spiritual renewal, I invoke upon you all the joy and peace of the Lord Jesus!