It takes more than one 'Our Father' to ask for God's help, pope says

IMAGE: CNS/Vatican Media

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Praying for God’s intercession
takes courage, dogged persistence and patience, said Pope Francis.

“If I want the Lord to listen to what I am asking
him, I have to go, and go and
go — knock on the door and
knock on God’s heart,” the pope said in his homily March 15 at morning
Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

“We cannot promise someone we will pray for him or her and then say an ‘Our Father’
and a ‘Hail Mary’ and then leave it at that. No. If you say you’ll pray for another, you
have to take this path. And you need patience,” he said.

Pope Francis’ homily focused on the day’s reading from
the Book of Exodus (32:7-14),
in which God tells Moses how angry he is that his people have created a golden
calf to worship as their god. God threatens to unleash his wrath on them and
promises Moses, “Then I will make of you a great nation.”

Pope Francis said Moses does not take the bait or get
involved in “games of bribery.” Moses sticks by his people and does
not “sell his conscience” for his own gain, the pope said.

“And God likes this. When God sees a soul, a person
who prays and prays and prays for something, he is moved.”

Moses had the courage to speak “face-to-face”
and truthfully to the Lord, he said, and successfully implored God to relent
and not punish his people.

“For prayers of intercession, you need two things:
courage, that is, ‘parrhesia,’ and patience,” he

People’s hearts must be truly invested in the thing or person they are praying for;
otherwise not even courage and patience will be enough to keep going, he added.

should ask God for the grace to pray frankly and freely to God, as sons and daughters would
talk to their father, knowing that “my father will listen to me,” Pope Francis said.

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