Pope Francis - Reflections

REFLECTIONS FROM POPE FRANCIS


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Fourth Sunday of Easter:  All our thoughts and activities should be a part of our daily conversation with the Lord.  There is no aspect of our everyday lives, however mundane, that cannot be offered in prayer to God and become an occasion of deeper union with him. In our fragility, prayer is a mark of our supreme grandeur, for prayer can work miracles in our world, transform lives and history, and serve the coming of God’s kingdom of justice and peace.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Third Sunday of Easter:  The beauty and mystery of Creation create in the human heart the first impulse that evokes prayer (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2566).  It is an experience that many of us have had.  If life's events, with all their bitterness, sometimes risk choking the gift of prayer that is within us, it is enough to contemplate a starry sky, a sunset, a flower..., in order to rekindle a spark of thanksgiving.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Second Sunday of Easter:  Prayer is the rudder that guides Jesus’ course. The stages of his mission were not dictated by success, nor by consensus, or the seductive phrase “everyone is searching for you”. Jesus’ path was charted by the least comfortable one, which obeyed the Father’s inspiration, which Jesus heard and welcomed in his solitary prayer.  From Jesus’ example we can derive some characteristics of Christian prayer.  First and foremost, it possesses primacy: it is the first desire of the day, something that is practised at dawn, before the world awakens. It restores a soul to what otherwise would be without breath.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer

 


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Easter Day:  Saint Luke tells us that of the ten lepers healed by Jesus, only one came back to thank the Lord. This passage reminds us of the importance of gratitude. It shows the great difference between hearts that are thankful and those that are not; between people who see everything as their entitlement and those who receive everything as grace. As Christians, our prayer of thanksgiving is inspired by gratitude for the love of God revealed in the coming of Jesus, his Son and our Saviour.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer



A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Palm Sunday:  At the darkest hour of his suffering on the cross, Jesus continues to pray, using the traditional words of the Psalms, identifying himself with the poor and abandoned of our world. In those moments, the crucified Lord takes upon himself the burden of all the sins of the world; of all our sins.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer

 

A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Fifth Sunday of Lent:  Prayer is not always easy; often it demands of us a struggle with God and a recognition of our weakness and frailty before him and his will.  Yet it is precisely in that struggle and in our woundedness that we experience the healing power of grace and grow in faith.  Let us pray for the gift always to be open to this encounter with God, to the conversion of our hearts, and to the many blessings the Lord wishes to pour upon us.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Third Sunday of Lent:  With hands outstretched to God, Moses makes of himself a kind of bridge between earth and heaven, pleading for the people when they are most in need. In this way he prefigures Jesus, our great intercessor and high priest. We Christians are also called to share in this type of prayer, interceding for those who need God’s help, and for the redemption of the whole world.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Second Sunday of Lent:  Contemplative prayer is an act of the heart by which we fix our gaze in faith upon Jesus, quietly pondering his word and his saving mysteries.  In praying before the Tabernacle, “I look at him and he looks at me”. By gazing on our Lord in this way, we come to feel his loving gaze upon us and our hearts are purified. This in turn enables us to see others in the light of that truth and compassion which Jesus brings to all.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, First Sunday of Lent:  The saints recognize that prayer is not always easy, for our human nature is frequently distracted or tempted by seemingly more important priorities.  Many of the saints experienced long periods of spiritual dryness and even darkness.  They teach us that the only response to these temptations is greater perseverance.  In our daily efforts to persevere in prayer may we trust that our own spiritual combat, like that of Jacob and the angel (Genesis 28:16), will bear fruit in a deeper and more mature relationship with the Lord.


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Sixth Sunday of the Year:  The Psalms do not always use refined and genteel language, and that they often bear the scars of existence. And yet, all these prayers were first used in the Temple of Jerusalem and then in the synagogues; even the most intimate and personal ones.  “The Psalms’ many forms of prayer take shape both in the liturgy of the Temple and in the human heart” (Catechism 2588).  And thus, personal prayer draws from and is nourished first by the prayer of the people of Israel, then by the prayer of the Church.


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Fifth Sunday of the Year:  The Pope recalled an occasion when someone said to him: “You talk too much about prayer. It is not necessary”.  The Pope’s reply was emphatic: “Yes, it is necessary.  Because if we do not pray, we will not have the strength to go forward in life.  Prayer is like the oxygen of life.  Prayer draws down upon us the presence of the Holy Spirit who always leads us forward.  For this reason, I speak a lot about prayer.”

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Fourth Sunday of the Year:  All human suffering is sacred to God.  So prays the prayer of Psalm 56: “You have kept an account of my wanderings; you have kept a record of my tears!  Are they not written in your book?” (v. 8).  Before God we are not strangers, or numbers.  We are faces and hearts, known one by one, by name.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Third Sunday of the Year:  If  during prayer we feel sluggish and empty, we must at that moment beg that Jesus’ prayer also become our own. “I cannot pray today, I don’t know what to do: I don’t feel like it, I am unworthy”. In this moment Jesus is before the Father, praying for us; let us trust in this!  If we are trustful, we will then hear a voice from heaven, “You are God’s beloved, you are a child, you are the joy of the Father in heaven”.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A REFLECTION FROM POPE FRANCIS FOR THE YEAR OF PRAYER, SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR:  Prayer is dialogue with God; and every creature, in a certain sense, “dialogues” with God. Within the human being, prayer becomes word, invocation, hymn, poetry… The divine Word is made flesh, and in each person’s flesh the word returns to God in prayer.  To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Solemnity of the Epiphany:  Christ is the Mediator, the bridge that we cross to turn to the Father.  He is the only Redeemer, He is the Mediator par excellence.  Each prayer we raise to God is through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, and is fulfilled thanks to his intercession.  The Holy Spirit extends Christ’s mediation to every time and every place: there is no other name by which we can be saved.  Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and humanity.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Fourth Sunday of Advent: There is no better way to pray than to place oneself like Mary in an attitude of openness, with a heart open to God: “Lord, what you want, when you want, and how you want”. That is, a heart open to God’s will.  And God always responds.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer

 

A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer, Feast of the Holy Family: One does not only pray with the mind; the entire person prays, the person in his or her entirety, just as one does not pray only with one’s feelings. The ancients used to say that the organ of prayer is the heart, and thus they explained that the whole person, starting from the centre — the heart — enters into a relationship with God.

To read the full reflection and find more resources at dioceseofnottingham.uk/yearofprayer


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer: Very often it happens that we do not pray, we don’t feel like praying, or many times we pray like parrots, with the mouth, but our heart is not in it. This is the moment to say to the Spirit: “Come, come Holy Spirit, warm my heart. Come and teach me to pray, teach me to look to the Father, to look to the Son. Teach what the path of faith is like. Teach me how to love and, above all, teach me to have an attitude of hope.”


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer: To God who blesses, we too respond by blessing — God has taught us how to bless and we must bless — through the prayer of praise, of adoration, of thanksgiving.  The Catechism writes: “The prayer of blessing is our response to God’s gifts: because God blesses, the human heart can in return bless the One who is the source of every blessing” (n. 2626).


A reflection from Pope Francis for the Year of Prayer: The world in divided in two: those people who do not give thanks and those who do; those who take everything as if it is owed them, and those who welcome everything as a gift, as grace. The prayer of thanksgiving always begins from here: from the recognition that grace precedes us.