Mary shows how to turn fear into invitation to hear God’s call, pope says

By:

There is no better way to pray than like Mary, who opened her heart to God with humility and trust, Pope Francis said.

“It is putting our life in the Lord’s hands, that he be the one who guides us. We can all pray like this, almost without words,” the pope said Nov. 18 during his weekly general audience, which was livestreamed from the library of the Apostolic Palace.

Continuing his series of audience talks about prayer, Pope Francis reflected on Mary as a model of prayer.

Mary did not autonomously orchestrate her life, the pope said. “She waits for God to take the reins of her path and guide her where he wants.”

By being docile and willing to be God’s instrument, she prepares the way for “the great events in which God takes part in the world,” he said.

“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,'” he said.

Those whose lives are inspired by such a prayerful attitude, he said, “do not get upset when their days are filled with problems,” but face reality knowing that if they offer themselves with humble love, “we become instruments of God’s grace.”

When the angel Gabriel told Mary of God’s plan for her, the pope said, Mary “knew how to reject fear, even while sensing that her ‘yes’ would bring her tremendously difficult trials. If in prayer we understand that each day given by God is a call, our hearts will then widen, and we will accept everything.”

People also should pray that the Lord would be present every step of the way, “that he does not leave us alone, that he does not leave us to temptation, that he does not abandon us during terrible moments,” he said.

Mary not only accompanied Jesus’s entire life in prayer, right up to his death and resurrection, she also accompanied the first steps of the church, praying with “the men and women whom her son had called to form his community,” Pope Francis said.

“Mary is not a priest among them. No. She is the mother of Jesus who prays with them in community, like one of the community; she prays with them and for them,” he said.

Not only did she become the mother of God, she also became the mother of the church through the work of the Holy Spirit, he said.

Her “natural feminine intuition is exalted by her most singular union with God in prayer,” the pope said. “This is why, reading the Gospel, we note that she seems to disappear at times, only to reappear for crucial moments: it was God’s voice that guided her heart and her steps where her presence was needed.”

Pope Francis concluded his catechesis recalling how Mary’s heart has been compared to “a pearl of incomparable splendor, formed and smoothed by patient acceptance of God’s will through the mysteries of Jesus meditated on in prayer.”

“How beautiful it would be if we, too, could be a bit like our Mother with a heart open to the Word of God, with a silent, obedient heart” that lets God’s word grow.

  •  
  •  

This article comes to you from OSV Newsweekly (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or diocese.

 

Catholic News & Perspective

Provides information on the Church, the nation and the world from OSV, America's most popular and trusted national Catholic news source


Recent

Opening the Word

Friday, January 15, 2021
By: Timothy P. O'Malley         This article comes to you from OSV Newsweekly (Our Sunday Visitor) courtesy of your parish or... Read More

What if they don’t come back?

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
By:  Daniel Cellucci Have you noticed there are a lot fewer people in church these days? Do you think they are coming back? I don’t.... Read More

During a Biden presidency — or any presidency — we the people still have power, and we must use it

Monday, January 11, 2021
By: Msgr. Owen F. Campion The American bishops have impaneled a group to consider Church concerns in this country as a new presidential... Read More

Opening the Word: Beloved, come

Friday, January 8, 2021
By: Timothy P. O'Malley John, who is the last prophet, the one who initiates a baptism of repentance, baptizes Jesus Christ. The yearly... Read More

In new year, share the blessing of your time, pope writes

Wednesday, January 6, 2021
By: Cindy Wooden VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At the beginning of a year people hope will mark the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis urged... Read More

Holy Cross Family Ministries suggests six steps to foster more family prayer

Monday, January 4, 2021
By: Catholic News Service NORTH EASTON, Mass. (CNS) — Create a sacred space in your home, have family members take turns leading prayer and... Read More

Opening the Word: The horizon opens

Friday, January 1, 2021
By: Timothy P. O'Malley Scripture consists of words. Of course, we knew that (you may ask yourself why Our Sunday Visitor continues to keep a... Read More

Religious educators use the pandemic as an opportunity to innovate

Wednesday, December 30, 2020
By: William Cone The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on how Catholics express and teach the Faith. Amid concerns about meeting in... Read More

Pope’s pandemic year in review: Prayer, online meetings, hopes for change

Monday, December 28, 2020
By: Cindy Wooden VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Like everyone else, Pope Francis’ 2020 was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns,... Read More

Opening the Word: The mystery of family life

Friday, December 25, 2020
By: Timothy P. O'Malley The feast of the Holy Family, celebrated during the Christmas octave, is rarely an occasion for homiletic genius on... Read More