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Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta: Faith cannot be learned in books

During his Thursday morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that although faith can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, it isn't "magical.� He added that faith is instead about having a personal relationship with God.

POPE FRANCIS

"We ask the Lord that our prayers always have that root of faith, that they be born of faith in Him. The grace of faith: faith is a gift. You do not learn from books. It is a gift that the Lord gives you, but just ask for it: â??Give me faith!â?? â??I believe, Lord!'â?

He went on to say that "everything we ask of Him we will be given, with the confidence that faith gives us.�

EXTRACTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"At that time, a leper came to Jesus and begged him on his knees â?? precisely in a gesture of adoration â?? and said, â??Look, you can make me clean.â?? He challenged the Lord, saying, â??I have been defeated in life â?? the leper had suffered defeat, insofar as he could not live life in common with others, he was always cast off â?? but you [he said to the Lord] can turn this defeat into victory!.â?? That is: â??Look, you can make me clean.â?? Before this Jesus had compassion, he stretched out his hand, touched him and said, â??I desire that you be made clean!â?? So, simply: this fight is over in two minutes and ends in victory; that other last all day long, and ends with the defeat. The man had something that drove him to go to Jesus and send up the challenge: he had faith.â?

"Faith is the victory. Faith: like [that of] this man [who said], â??If you want to, you can do it.â?? The losers of the First Reading prayed to God, bearing the ark, but they had no faith, they had forgotten it. This leper had faith, and when you ask with faith, Jesus himself told us mountains will move. We are able to move a mountain from one place to another: faith is capable of this. Jesus himself said, â??Whatever you ask the Father in my name, you will be given. Ask and you shall receive; knock and it shall be opened,â?? but with faith â?? and this this is our victory.â?

"We ask the Lord that our prayers always have that root of faith, that they be born of faith in Him. The grace of faith: faith is a gift. You do not learn from books. It is a gift that the Lord gives you, but just ask for it: â??Give me faith!â?? â??I believe, Lord!â??, said the man who asked Jesus to heal his son: â??I ask Lord, that you help my unbelief.â?? Prayer with faith ... and the man is healed. We ask God for the grace to pray with faith, to be sure that everything we ask of Him we will be given, with the confidence that faith gives us â?? and this is our victory, our faith.â?

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