Pope Francis invited the faithful “to persevere in prayer,” especially during the most difficult moments of their lives.
“If it seems to us that life has been completely useless, we must at that moment beg that Jesus’ prayer also become our own,” said the pontiff during his general audience on Oct. 28.
The pope told the crowd that Jesus gave his own prayer, “which is His loving dialogue with the Father.”
“He gave it to us like a seed of the Trinity, which He wants to take root in our hearts,” he said, adding that if anyone welcomes the “gift of prayer” he or she “will not err.”
Pope Francis reminded the faithful to persist in prayer “despite feeling sluggish” as “Jesus prays with us.”
The pope’s address during his weekly general audience was a continuation of his catechesis on the theme of prayer.
Pope Francis said Jesus’ first public act is in a chorale prayer of the people as Jesus “prays with the sinners of the people of God.”
“He does not stay on the opposite side of the river, to mark His difference and distance from the disobedient people, but rather He immerses His feet in the same purifying waters,” the pope said.
Pope Francis also assured the faithful that “Jesus is not a distant God,” saying that He places himself “at the forefront of a people of penitents, as if He were responsible for opening a breach through which all of us, after Him, must have the courage to pass.”
He said that it is through baptism and through the “gift of the Holy Spirit” that the faithful are enabled to share in Jesus’ own prayer, which he described as “the eternal expression of his dialogue of love with the Father.”
Pope Francis apologized to those who attended the general audience for staying from the crowd.
“I like to come down and greet each one of you, but we must keep our distance,” he said, adding that he wanted to avoid causing a crowd, which is contrary to health measures imposed by authorities.
“Please excuse me if I do not come down to greet you: I will greet you from here, but I hold you in my heart, all of you,” he said.
“And you, please hold me in your heart, and pray for me. From a distance, we can pray for each other … and thank you for your understanding,” added Pope Francis.
The Italian health ministry reported on Oct. 27 that they have confirmed 21,994 cases of coronavirus infections, the highest one-day increase yet, in the country. The ministry noted that there were 221 coronavirus-related deaths on that day, the first reading above 200 since mid-May.