Pope Francis recalls the importance of constant prayer

This Sunday, Pope Francis called on the faithful to be constant in prayer to strengthen their faith, and recommended that those who say they do not have time to pray, resort to a practice almost forgotten but known by grandmothers: ejaculatory calls.

Before praying the Sunday Angelus, the Holy Father reflected on the part of the end of the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus asks: “When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

“It’s a serious question. Let us imagine that the Lord arrives on earth today: he would unfortunately see many wars, much poverty, many inequalities, and at the same time great achievements of technology, modern means”, he pointed out to the 20 thousand faithful gathered in Saint Peter’s Square .

He would also find “people who always go fast, never stopping; But would he find someone who would give him time and affection, who would put him first? And above all let us ask ourselves: what would he find in me, if the Lord came today, what would he find in me, in my life, in my heart? What priorities of my life would he see?” Pope Francis questioned.

The Pontiff said that often “we concentrate on many urgent but not necessary things, we deal with and worry about many secondary realities; and perhaps, without realizing it, we neglect what counts most and let our love for God cool down, cool down little by little.

“Today Jesus offers us the remedy to warm a lukewarm faith. And what is the remedy? The sentence. Prayer is the medicine of faith, the restorative of the soul. But it needs to be a constant prayer,” like when taking medication for better physical health.

“Let’s think about a plant that we have at home: we have to feed it constantly every day, we can’t soak it and then leave it without water for weeks! All the more reason for prayer: one cannot live only through strong moments or intense encounters from time to time and then ‘go into lethargy’”, Pope Francis pointed out.

“Our faith will dry up. It needs the daily water of prayer, it needs time dedicated to God, so that He can enter our time, our history; of constant moments in which we open our hearts, so that He can pour love, peace, glory, strength, hope into us every day; that is to say nurture our faith”, he affirmed.

The Pontiff recalled that Christ calls everyone to “always pray without giving up.” However, “someone could object: ‘But how do I do it? I don’t live in a convent, I don’t have time to pray!’”.

Francisco indicated that in the face of this difficulty, which is real, “a wise spiritual practice, which today is a little forgotten, that our elders know well, especially grandmothers, can help: that of ejaculatory calls.”

“The name is somewhat obsolete, but the substance is good. What is it about? Of very short prayers, easy to memorize, that we can repeat often during the day, during the various activities, to be ‘in tune’ with the Lord”, he affirmed.

Then he added: “Let’s do some example. As soon as we get up we can say: ‘Lord, I thank you and I offer you this day’; this is a little prayer; later, before an activity, we can repeat: ‘Come, Holy Spirit’; and between one thing and the other pray like this: ‘Jesus, I trust in you, Jesus, I love you’”.

Pope Francis indicated that they are “small prayers but they keep us in contact with the Lord.”

“How many times do we send ‘messages’ to the people we love! Let’s also do it with the Lord, so that the heart remains connected to Him. And let’s not forget to read his answers. The Lord answers, always. Where do we find them? In the Gospel,” he stated.

For this reason, Pope Francis reiterated his recommendation to have the Gospel “always at hand and open it a few times every day, to receive a Word of life addressed to us.”

“The Virgin Mary, faithful in listening, teach us the art of praying always, without getting tired”, concluded the Pontiff.

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