In his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the “Our Father” prayer. This time he focused on the “mystery of God’s paternity.”
He said to understand how God is Father it is natural to think about one's own parents. However, this image needs purifying as no one is perfect, including parents.
He said in this life one only experience this total divine love in an imperfect way. This is because human love is wounded and as the Prophet Hosea said: “Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away” (Hos 6:4).
Th pope stressed that God's love is perfect and beyond that on earth. He concluded by inviting everyone not to be afraid to respond to the call to “know God as Father.”
SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our continuing catechesis on the “Our Father”, we now consider the first step of Christian prayer, which is to enter into the mystery of God’s paternity.
To understand how God is Father we naturally think of our own parents; yet this image needs to be purified, for none of our parents is perfect, and neither are we!
When we speak of God as “Father”, then, we must go beyond a merely earthly image, for God’s love is that of our Father who is in heaven. Yet we only experience this total divine love – in this life – in an imperfect way, for our human love is wounded. Indeed the fragility of human love is captured well by the words of the Prophet Hosea: “Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away” (Hos 6:4).
God’s love, on the other hand, is a perfect kind of love; he loves us in a way that none on earth ever can. In the hunger for God’s love that we all feel, we are not seeking something non-existent, but instead responding to the invitation to know God as Father. So we should not be afraid, for nothing can extinguish his passionate love for us.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!