As Christmas draws ever closer, Pope Francis has continued to reflect on prayer at Christmas. catechesis that he is carrying out at the Wednesday audience. As we approach the final stretch of Advent, the Holy Father reminds us of the importance of intercessory prayerto pray from the Heart of Christ.
Next to the Nativity Scene
"Who prays, never turns his back on the world". Thus begins the address of Pope Francis on Wednesday, December 16. The Holy Father addressed all Christians from the Library of the Apostolic Palace. accompanied by the Mystery - the ensemble of the Holy Family - and the Christmas tree..
The Pope recalled that the Christian's prayer excludes no oneeven those who do not pray or those who are distant. Christians - the Pontiff said - "sometimes withdraw from the world, in the secret of one's own room, as Jesus himself recommends (cf. Mt 6:6), but wherever they are, always have the door of their heart openAn open door for those who pray without knowing that they pray; for those who do not pray at all but carry within them a stifled cry, a hidden invocation; for those who have made a mistake and have lost their way..."Just as God leaves no one aside, the Christian prays for everyone, even for himself.
In tune with the Heart of Mercy
True prayer is in tune with the merciful Heart of God. In this sense, Francis reminds us that Christ is the principal intercessor before God. And that whoever prays imitates Christ and is in tune with Him, so that he also intercedes for others or for himself.
Referring to the parable of the prayer of the Pharisee and the publicanFrancis warns us of a false prayer. A prayer like that of the Pharisee is a prayer that closes the heart, that moves away from the true humility that brings us closer to the heart of Christ.
Seeing with the eyes and heart of Christ
Those who have a responsibility, the Pope reminds us, have the mission of look with the eyes and heart of Christ. To pray tenderly for all those around us, for one another. "The Church, in all its members, has the mission to practice intercessory prayer. In particular, it is the duty of those who are in a role of responsibility: parents, educators, ordained ministers, community superiors.... Like Abraham and Moses, they sometimes have to "defend" before God the people entrusted to them. In reality, it is a matter of looking with the eyes and heart of God, with the same invincible compassion and tenderness as God.".
Finally, before imparting the apostolic blessing especially to children, the elderly and the suffering, the Pope has encouraged to speed up the pace towards Christmas. Remembering that the birth of Jesus took place in the midst of difficulties, such as those we are suffering in recent times, he encouraged us to prepare ourselves with joy.