Seek God’s face in prayer, says Pope

Pope John Paul II taught today that the way to attain the vision of God’s face in this life is to participate in the liturgy and develop an intense prayer life.

The Holy Father today spoke of the second part of Psalm 26 entitled, “The prayer of the persecuted innocent,” in his weekly general audience. He called it “a song of faith raised to the Lord on the dark day of assault by the wicked,” in which the “decisive element is the faith of the supplicant in the Lord Who saves us in times of trial and sustains us in tribulation.”

The psalm contains three symbolic elements: “The first, which is negative, is the nightmare of the enemies…false witnesses who breathe violence out of their nostrils”, said the Pope. “There is an aggressive evil in the world whose inspiration and guide is Satan.”

The second “clearly illustrates the serene confidence of the faithful, even when abandoned by their parents.” He urged that these consoling words of the psalm be received by the elderly, sick and lonely, “so that they feel the fatherly and motherly hand of the Lord who silently and lovingly touches their faces which are sad and perhaps wet with tears.”

‘Seek His face.  I will seek your face, Lord!  Do not hide your face from me,’ said the Pope, citing the psalm before expounding on it’s third element and recurring theme:  “The face of God is the goal of the supplicant’s spiritual search. … In the language of the psalms ‘seek the Lord’s face’ is often synonymous with entering the temple to celebrate and experience communion with God. … In liturgy and in personal prayer, we obtain the grace to envision that face that we will never be able to directly see during our earthly existence.”

The Pope concluded by calling to mind the patron saint of Italy and Europe, Saint Catherine of Siena, whose feast the Chruch celebrates tomorrow. “May the example of this great saint help everyone to persevere in the faith and to bear generous witness to Christ and His Gospel in every moment.”

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