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Prayer is best source of courage for facing hostile world, Pope says


DAVID KERR

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
8/29/2012

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ABSTRACTPrayer is best source of courage for facing hostile world, Pope says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Follow us: Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns A Life Worth Living Answering the Tough Questions Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Both Oars In Catholic & Single Catholic Men Guest Columnist Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II In Good Company Indispensable Economics Inside the Church during WWII Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Preparing the way for the Roman Missal – 3rd Edition The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Spirit of the New Translation The Way of Beauty With Good Reason Your Moment in the Mass Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood Home » News » Vatican Prayer is best source of courage for facing hostile world, Pope says By David Kerr Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Aug 29, 2012 / 10:39 am ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Pope Benedict XVI says the heroic sanctity of St. John the Baptist proves that a solid life of prayer is the best source of courage for Christians facing a modern world that is hostile to God and those who love him.  “The martyrdom of St. John the Baptist reminds us, Christians of our time, that we cannot stoop to compromises with the love of Christ, his Word, the Truth. The Truth is the Truth and there is no compromise,” the Pope stated in his Aug. 29 general audience address at Castel Gandolfo. Christian life, he said, requires a “daily martyrdom of fidelity to the Gospel” which can be defined as the “courage to let Christ grow in us and direct our thinking and our actions” and can only occur through a “solid relationship with God.”  Pope Benedict also reflected on the contribution of prayer. “Prayer is not a waste of time, it does not rob much space from our activities, not even apostolic activities, it does the exact opposite: only if we are able to have a life of faithful, constant, confident prayer will God Himself give us the strength and capacity to live in a happy and peaceful way, to overcome difficulties and to bear witness with courage,” he said. The Pope’s words were part of his ongoing weekly catechesis on the theme of prayer, with today’s focus being on the prayer life of Saint John the Baptist. Since Aug. 29 is the liturgical memorial of the martyrdom of John the Baptist, Pope Benedict noted that he is the only saint whose birth and death are celebrated on the same day. St. John the Baptist was martyred following his denouncement of King Herod’s incestuous marriage to Herodias, who was his brother Philip’s former wife and also King Herod’s niece. “For the love of truth, he did not stoop to compromises with the powerful and was not afraid to use strong words with those who had lost the path of God,” said Pope Benedict.  “Where does this life of rectitude and coherency, this interior strength, completely spent for God and to prepare the way for Jesus, come from?” asked the Pope.  “The answer is simple: from his relationship with God, from prayer, which is the main theme of his whole existence.” Reflecting upon the life of St. John the Baptist, Pope Benedict observed that since his conception the prophet’s existence was underpinned by prayer, beginning with his father Zechariah’s song of praise, the “Benedictus,” which is now recited by many Catholics during the early morning prayer of the Church. His example of a prayerful life is so significant, suggested the Pope, that when the disciples asked Christ to teach them the Our Father, their request is formulated with the words “Lord teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” “St. John the Baptist intercedes for us, so that we always maintain the primacy of God in our lives,” .......