Friday, April 4, 2014

Don't hold back when praying to God -- tell him exactly what's wrong and insist on holding him to his promises, Pope Francis said. Prayer should be like speaking face-to-face with a friend: "without fear, freely and also with insistence," the pope said in his homily April 3 during an early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Pope Francis' homily focused on the day's reading from the Book of Exodus (32:7-14), in which Moses begs God to spare his people, even though they have created a golden calf to worship as their god. God says he's going to let his wrath "blaze up against them to consume them," but Moses reminds the Lord that these are his own people he has saved before and has promised to make their descendants "as numerous as the stars in the sky." Pope Francis said that, in the day's reading, Moses shows what praying to God should really feel and sound like: not filled with empty words, but a heartfelt, "real fight with God." Moses is courageously insistent and argues his point, the pope said, and prayer must also be "a negotiation with God, presenting arguments" supporting one's position.