The pope noted that at his last general audience he had highlighted the importance of liturgical prayer.
He said: “Today, we will shed light on how the Liturgy always enters daily life: on the streets, in offices, on public transportation… And there it continues the dialogue with God: the person who prays is like someone in love who always bears the beloved in his or her heart wherever they go.”
“Essentially, everything becomes a part of this dialogue with God: every joy becomes a reason for praise, every trial is an opportunity to ask for help. Prayer is always alive in our lives, like embers, even when the mouth does not speak, but the heart speaks. Every thought, even the apparently ‘profane’ ones, can be permeated by prayer.”
He compared prayer to a light that illuminates the path ahead of us when it lies in shadow.
Quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, he said: “We learn to pray at certain moments by hearing the Word of the Lord and sharing in his Paschal Mystery, but his Spirit is offered us at all times, in the events of each day, to make prayer spring up from us. […] Time is in the Father’s hands; it is in the present that we encounter him, not yesterday or tomorrow, but today.”
He commented: “There exists no other wonderful day than the day we are living. Those who live always thinking about the future, in the future: ‘But it will be better…’ but do not take each day as it comes: these are people who live in their fantasy, they do not know how to deal with concrete reality. And today is real, today is concrete. And prayer is to be done today. Jesus comes to meet us today, the day we are living.”
When we welcome each day in prayer, he said, we are given the gift of courage.
“Thus, the problems we face no longer seem to be obstacles to our happiness, but appeals from God, opportunities to meet Him. And when a person is accompanied by the Lord, he or she feels more courageous, freer, and even happier,” he said.
“Let us pray always, then, for everyone, even for our enemies. Jesus counseled us to do this ... Let us pray for our dear ones, even those we do not know.”
He continued: “Prayer inclines us toward a superabundant love. Let us pray above all for people who are sad, for those who weep in solitude and despair, that there still might be someone who loves them.”
He stressed that Christian prayer “makes Christ’s compassion present.”
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“Prayer helps us love others, despite their mistakes and sins,” he said. “The person is always more important than their actions, and Jesus did not judge the world, but He saved it.”
“What a horrible life is that of the person who always judges others, who is always condemning, judging… This is a horrible, unhappy life, when Jesus came to save us.”
He added: “Open your heart, pardon, give others the benefit of the doubt, understand, be close to others, be compassionate, be tender, like Jesus. We need to love each and every person, remembering in prayer that we are all sinners and at the same time loved individually by God.”
“Loving the world in this way, loving it with tenderness, we will discover that each day and everything bears within it a fragment of God’s mystery.”
He then reflected on the brevity of human life, citing the 17th-century French Catholic philosopher Blaise Pascal, who said: “There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapor, a drop of water is enough to kill him.”
The pope concluded: “We are fragile beings, but we know how to pray: this is our greatest dignity and it is also our strength. Have courage. Pray in every moment, in every situation so the Lord might be near to us. And when a prayer is said according to the heart of Jesus, it obtains miracles.”