Friday, 25 April 2014

Pope Francis' Favourite Way to Pray

This excerpt from the interview with Pope Francis, titled: 'A Big Heart Open to God', teaches us much about the man himself and about who we are and what we are called to do.

Many exclaim: "where did this Pope come from?" and "where did he get such fiery charisma?" The answer is that he, the man whom the 'Time' magazine named person of the year, developed his charisma, identity and freedom to love, from the source of Life and Love Itself: Jesus, who is truly and really present in the Blessed Sacrament. What Pope Francis reveals about himself in sharing his preferred way to pray, is that he shares what is at the heart of his daily life and is thus the greatest love of his life: Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Our present Pope, in continuity with his recent predecessors, shares that his most preferred way to pray is in Eucharistic Adoration. Is this not a profound reminder to us to engage in constant and regular prayer, especially in Adoration before the exposed Blessed Sacrament? "O, but he's the Pope!" exclaim many Catholics, as if the Pope is beyond imitation and is only to be revered with awe at a distance. Yet has not our Pope showed himself to be a common man in touch with his fellow men? Does he not wear the cheapest watch available on the market in Italy? Has he not washed the feet of prisoners and brought healing to those with illnesses and disfigurements? Yes, he has done all these things, and perhaps one may comment: "I cannot do these great things." 

Yet there is something that we can do, something that we can all do, just as Pope Francis himself does. We like Pope Francis can commit ourselves to a daily Holy Hour, or if this proves to be impossible, to at least commit to a few hours of Adoration a week or to a weekly Holy Hour in our local Catholic Church or chapel of Adoration. If the Pope thinks that he needs this daily hour of intimacy with God through a relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist, then it is certainly not far fetched to think that perhaps we also need this daily hour of intimacy with God.

Here is a few quotes on the significance of the Eucharist and the Holy Hour:
"The holy hour in our modern rat race is necessary for authentic prayer. Our world is one of speed in which intensity of movement is a substitute for lack of purpose; where noise is invoked to drown out the whisperings of conscience; where talk, talk, talk gives the impression that we are doing something when really we are not; where activity kills self-knowledge won by contemplation…" Archbishop Fulton Sheen 
 "The Eucharist, behold the Christian's treasure, his delight on earth. Since Jesus is in the Eucharist for him personally, his whole life ought to be drawn to it like a magnet to its center." St. Peter Julian Eymard 
"A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent sweetly communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament." St. Padre Pio
The gentleness, love and joy that Pope Francis has brought to the world stage, and has drawn to the attention of many, is but a mere reflection of the Eternal Gentleness, Love and Joy of Jesus Christ Himself who is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Pope Francis is a living testimony of the power and love of Jesus, a power and love that did, still has, and will forever be available to transform all who enter into a relationship with He who is waiting for us in the Holy Eucharist.

Behold o world, this man of whom you gaze upon in wonder; and look to the One whom he is bearing, the One prophesied of old, the One who became man 2000 years ago in order to sacrifice Himself to pay the debt of our sins on our behalf. The One who was crucified, died and was buried, yet rose again from the dead so as to win for us the delight of Eternal Life.

Let us not just gape in awe at the brilliance of the ring, but approach the Diamond of Christ Jesus whom is firmly set in this great but simple man of God. We too can be bearers of this Diamond, if only we spend time in Eucharistic Adoration whereby this Great Diamond will be set firmly within us. Yet first of all we must go to the Diamond of the Holy Eucharist and encounter through faith the hidden yet universally accessible Brilliance of Christ Jesus. A brilliance the world has beheld through and in Pope Francis, yet a brilliance to which we are all called to possess in our hearts.

This is the secret of Pope Francis' magnetic allure and joy. He tells us himself: "What I really prefer" says Pope Francis, "is Adoration".