St Clare of Assisi

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pope Benedict about prayer .....

In his second catecheses Pope Benedict continues his reflection on how prayer and the sense of religion have always been part of man throughout history. Although due to secularism, God seems to have disappeared from the lives of some and materialism seems to be taking over, at the same time we see a resdiscovery of the need for God and the need for spirituality in the life of human beings. Man in himself is religious and Pope Benedict points to the Catechism of the Catholic Church which states that “In the act of creation, God calls every being from nothingness into existence.... Even after losing through his sin his likeness to God, man remains an image of his Creator, and retains the desire for the one who calls him into existence. All religions bear witness to man’s essential search for God” (n. 2566). and further “The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God” (n. 27).

Man bears within himself the attraction for God, since God himself placed this attraction in man. This attraction is the soul of prayer and in fact prayer is found present in different forms in all religions and cultures.
In prayer, in every period of history, man considers himself and his situation before God, from God and in relation to God, and experiences being a creature in need of help, incapable of obtaining on his own the fulfilment of his life and his hope. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein mentioned that “prayer means feeling that the world’s meaning is outside the world”.

Only in God who reveals himself does man’s seeking find complete fulfilment. The prayer that is openness and elevation of the heart to God, thus becomes a personal relationship with him. And even if man forgets his Creator, the living, true God does not cease to call man first to the mysterious encounter of prayer.

".... You will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, if you believe.” (Mt 21:22) With full faith in Jesus' words, let us accept our limitations and our need for God and in all humility kneel before our living God and ask for the gift of prayer, that we may open our hearts to the dialogue that God is trying to open with each and every one of us and thus experience his infinite love and mercy and allow Him to quench our thirst for life. Let us with St. Augustine say: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you." 

Holy Father's Prayer intentions for August 2011

General Intention: World Youth Day.
That World Youth Day in Madrid may encourage young people throughout the world to have their lives rooted and built up in Christ.

Missionary Intention:Western Christians.
That Western Christians may be open to the action of the Holy Spirit and rediscover the freshness and enthusiasm of their faith.

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