Union to the Will of God

March 4, 2007

Pope: prayer “matter of life and death” for Christians

Taking his cue from the Transfiguration, Benedict XVI said prayer was not a flight from reality but the full union of our will with that of God. Next Saturday, the pope will lead a vigil that will see the participation of students from Europe and Asia thanks to radio and television links.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Prayer, for the Christian, “is not an optional but a matter of life and death. Only those who pray, that is, those who entrust themselves to God with filial love, can enter into eternal life, which is God himself.”

Taking his cue from the Transfiguration, Benedict XVI chose to talk about prayer during the first Angelus following his Spiritual Exercises. He was addressing 30,000 people in St Peter’s Square on a day reminiscent of spring.

From the gospel passage from Luke, the pope noted how on Mount Tabor, “during the conversation of Jesus with Moses and Elijah, they appeared alongside Him transfigured. They ‘were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem’ (9:31). Thus, Jesus listens to the Law and the prophets who talk to him about his death and resurrection. In his intimate dialogue with the Father, he does not exit from history; he does not escape the mission for which he came to the world, although he knows that to reach glory he will have to pass through the Cross. Rather, Christ enters more deeply into this mission, adhering with all his heart to the will of the Father and he shows us that true prayer consists precisely of uniting our will with that of God.”

“Consequently, for a Christian, praying is not evading reality and the responsibilities this entails, but taking them on completely, trusting in the faithful and endless love of the Lord. Thus, the verification of the transfiguration is, paradoxically, the agony of Gethsemane (cfr Lk 22:39-46).” From here comes the affirmation that prayer for the Christian “is not an optional but a matter of life and death. Only those who pray, that is, those who entrust themselves to God with filial love, can enter into eternal life, which is God himself.

Benedict XVI added: “During this time of Lent, let us ask Mary, Mother of the Word Incarnate and Teacher of Spiritual Life, to teach us to pray as her Son did, so that our existence may be transformed by the light of his presence.”

After the recital of the Marian prayer, the Pope mentioned a Marian vigil which he will lead next Saturday 10 March. The meeting is for young university students of Rome but thanks to radio and television links, students from other countries of Europe and Asia will also be able to take part. Benedict XVI said: “Let us invoke the intercession of Mary, Sedes Sapientiae, so that the Lord may send witnesses of the truth of the gospel to build a civilization of love in these two continents and the rest of the world.”

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5 Responses to “Union to the Will of God”

  1. Puzzled Penelope said

    I’m not exactly sure what “filial” prayer means. “Filial” means relating to a son or daughter. Would it be praying as a child of God?

  2. rev fr lw gonzales said

    I understand it to be a child of God in union with the children of God.

  3. KMS said

    The more I know about you, the more I like you. I am praying for you during this time of change in your parish. Thank you for your committment to your vocation.

  4. rev fr lw gonzales said

    Thank you for the prayers. As I read the news from around the Catholic world (especially Rome) I find the direction I have taken to be correct and in union with the Church under Pope Benedict’s guidance. Remember, we are One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church!

  5. kms said

    I know you are receiving flack for that direction. I’ll pray for those people too! 🙂

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