Tens of thousands of pilgrims crowded St Peter’s Square Wednesday for Pope Francis’ weekly General Audience. In remarks to the English speaking faithful, Pope Francis said “true prayer is born of a heart which repents of its faults and failings, yet pleads for the grace to live the great commandment of love of God and neighbor.” And, we may receive God’s mercy if we are honest and humble.
Below, please find the text of the Holy Father’s remarks in English:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now turn to the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Lk 18:9-14). Jesus contrasts the arrogance and self-righteousness of the Pharisee’s prayer with the tax collector’s humble recognition of his sinfulness and need for the Lord’s mercy. True prayer is born of a heart which repents of its faults and failings, yet pleads for the grace to live the great commandment of love of God and neighbour. Indeed, the proud disdain of the Pharisee for the sinner at his side prevents him from being righteous in God’s sight. To pray well, then, we need to look into our own hearts and there, in humble silence, let the Lord speak to us. The honesty and humility which God asks of us is the necessary condition for our receiving his mercy. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the model of such prayer. In her Magnificat, she tells us that God looks with favour on the humility of his servants, and hears their plea. May she, our Mother, help us to pray as we ought.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria, Canada and the United States of America. With prayerful good wishes that the present Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.