During his general audience today, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of God’s special care for those who are poor and defenseless, encouraging faithful to approach the Father “as hungry beggars”, trusting in his promise of intimacy and protection.
Some 8,000 pilgrims were on hand in the Vatican to hear the Pope’s continuing commentary on the Psalms, today speaking on the second part of Psalm 144, which he titled, "Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom."
He began by pointing out that the psalmist first focuses his attention "on the love that the Lord reserves, in a special way, for the poor and weak.”
“This Divine royalty”, he said, “is not arrogant or haughty, as can sometimes happen with the exercise of human power. God expresses His royalty by inclining before the most fragile and defenseless of creatures."
"God”, the Pope went on, “is, above all else, a Father who sustains those who are about to fall and lifts back up again those who have fallen in the dust of humiliation.”
Because of this, he said that “Living beings are directed therefore to the Lord, as hungry beggars, and as a loving Father He offers the necessary nourishment to live."
He explained that the Psalm writer first "invokes" the Lord with his trusting prayer, and then searches for the Lord "with a sincere heart."
The writer also expresses a certain holy "fear" for his God, respecting His will and being obedient to His word. Above all, the Pope said though, he "loves the Lord with the confidence of being brought under the mantle of His protection and intimacy."
Benedict explained that "The last word of the psalmist is the same as that with which he opened his hymn: it is an invitation to praise and bless the Lord and His name, that is to say, His living and holy Person who works and saves, both in the world and in history.”
He said that “it is the type of timeless song that should raise from earth to heaven, it is the communal celebration of the universal love of God, source of peace, joy and salvation."
Following his catechesis, the Holy Father recalled the sixth century ascetic Barsanufio de Gaza who, he said, advised a disciple facing temptations to ask for the Lord's assistance, with the confidence that He would listen.
"This”, he said, speaking off the cuff, “is valuable for us also…before our difficulties and problems, we should invoke the Lord, asking for His help, with the certainty that He will hear us, without becoming discouraged, knowing that in this way, we will reach the goal: Jesus, the Lord."