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Pope Francis reminds faithful of importance of genuine prayer

At the General Audience, the pope explained that “Genuine prayer” enables people, even at times of great distress, to look upon others with compassion and respect.”

He based his examples on the Psalm readings, pointing out that personal prayers like these start in places of worship but ultimately “leads us to serve others in the streets of our cities.” He also emphasized that the psalms are also a good source of inspiration for learning to pray.


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

today we conclude our catechesis on prayer by turning once more to the Psalms. In the Psalter, prayer appears as essential to a good and truly human life, guiding our steps according to God’s will and teaching us to avoid the snares of evil. Genuine prayer enables us, even at times of great distress, to see reality with God’s eyes and to look upon our brothers and sisters with compassion and respect. In the Psalms, personal and communal prayer merge, and praise of God is joined to concern for others, especially the poor and those in need.

Even the Psalms that seem most personal and private were prayed in the liturgy of the Temple and in the synagogues, and then in the assemblies of the earliest Christian community. They remind us that prayer must embrace every aspect of our lives in this world. Sometimes, prayer begins in our churches but then leads us to serve others in the streets of our cities. At other times prayer originates in the midst of our daily work, and then finds its completion in the Church’s liturgy. May we learn to pray the Psalms more consciously, letting their voice become our own, as we seek to grow in love for God, trust in the fulfilment of his saving plan, and charity towards all our brothers and sisters.

I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors who join us for today’s Audience. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!

Christian Campos