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Pope in General Audience: The link between hope and prayer in difficult situations

2017-01-18

In the General Audience, the pope continued his catechesis on hope, this time speaking about the need to pray in the face of difficult missions or the storms in each person's life, just as Jonah experienced in the Bible. 

Pope Francis said that many times, it isn't until a person endures "anguish in the face of death” that they are able to "recognize their human frailty and the need to pray for salvation.”


SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH 
Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we reflect today on the story of the prophet Jonah, who sought to flee from a difficult mission entrusted to him by the Lord. When the ship that Jonah had boarded was tossed by a storm, the pagan sailors asked him, as a man of God, to pray that they might escape sure death. This story reminds us of the link between hope and prayer. Anguish in the face of death often makes us recognize our human frailty and our need to pray for salvation. Jonah prays on behalf of the sailors, and, taking up once more his prophetic mission, shows himself ready to sacrifice his life for their sake. As a result, the sailors come to acknowledge the true God. As the paschal mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection makes clear, death itself can be, for each of us, an invitation to hope and an encounter in prayer with the God of our salvation.

Dear friends, today begins the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In this same
spirit of hope, and with gratitude for the progress already made in the ecumenical movement, I ask
your prayers for this important intention.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from New Zealand, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. Upon you and your families, I cordially invoke an abundance of joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!