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Pope: Prayer of the Faithful are for concrete needs of the Church and of the world

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Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The “intentions” for which we are invited to pray during the Mass “must give voice to the concrete needs of the ecclesial community and the world, avoiding the use of conventional and short-sighted formulas”. Moreover “the claims of logic worldly do not rise towards Heaven, just as the self-referential demands remain unheard”, noted Pope Francis today that during the general audience in which he continued the catechesis dedicated to Mass.

To the ten thousand people were present in Saint Peter’s Square on a rainy morning, Francis spoke in particular of the Creed and Universal Prayer. Both of them, he said, follow the biblical readings and the homily, “well directed, well said”, which respond to the “spiritual right of the people of God to receive with abundance the treasure of the Word of God”. After the homily, “a time of silence allows the received seed to settle in the soul, so that the intentions of adhering to what the Spirit has suggested to each person are born”.

“After this silence, the personal response of faith is part of the Church’s profession of faith, expressed in the ‘Creed’. Recited by the whole assembly, the Symbol manifests the common response to what was heard from the Word of God (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 185-197). There is a vital link between listening and faith. They are united. In fact, this does not come from the imagination of human minds but, as St. Paul recalls, “it comes from listening to, from hearing the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). Faith is nourished, therefore, by listening and leads to the Sacrament. Thus, the recitation of the ‘Creed’ makes the liturgical assembly “returns to meditate and profess the great mysteries of faith, before their celebration in the Eucharist” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 67) “.

“The Symbol binds the Eucharist to Baptism, received” in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit “, and reminds us that the Sacraments are understandable in the light of the faith of the Church: they are ‘signs’ of faith, they suppose it and they arouse it”.

“The response to the Word of God accepted with faith is then expressed in the common plea, called the Universal Prayer, because it embraces the needs of the Church and the world (cf. OGMR, 69-71; Introduction to the Lectionary, 30-31). It is also called Prayer of the Faithful “. “The Fathers of Vatican II wanted to restore this prayer after the Gospel and the homily, especially on Sundays and feasts, so that” with the participation of the people, prayers are made for the holy Church, for those who govern us, for those who find themselves in various need, for all men and for the salvation of the whole world “(Const. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 53, cf. 1 Tim 2: 1-2). Therefore, under the guidance of the priest who introduces and concludes, “the people, exercising their baptismal priesthood, offer to God prayers for the salvation of all” (OGMR, 69). After the individual intentions proposed by the deacon or by a reader, the assembly unites its voice invoking: “Hear us, O Lord”.

“Let us remember, in fact, what the Lord Jesus told us:”If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”(Jn 15: 7). We do not ask for this, because we have little faith, but if we had the faith Jesus speaks of, we would have everything”. It a time to ask for the important things”. And to ask: “I believe Lord, help my little faith”. “The pretences of worldly logic, on the other hand, do not rise to Heaven, just as the self-referential demands remain unanswered (cf. GC 4,2-3). The intentions for which the faithful people are invited to pray must give voice to the concrete needs of the ecclesial community and of the world, avoiding the use of conventional and short-sighted formulas. The “universal” prayer, which concludes the liturgy of the Word, exhorts us to make our own the gaze of God, who takes care of all his children “.

In the greetings addressed to the various linguistic groups, the Pope recalled that today we enter Lent, “a time of fasting, of prayer and of charity”. “We place our hearts to live this time in union with the suffering Christ, who with His passion and death on the Cross redeemed us, so that, free from sin, we can participate in the holiness of God himself”.

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