Skip to comments.(Pope) Francis: “Pray with your heart, not like a parrot”
Posted on 05/17/2014 3:53:49 AM PDT by NYer
Pope Francis says studying Jesus is not enough to get to know him, we must also pray to him, celebrate him and imitate him. This was the Popes core message at Mass on Friday in the Santa Marta residence, Vatican Radio reports. In his homily the Pope reflected on the best way for us to get to know Jesus, describing it as the most important work in our lives. At the same time he warned that studying or having ideas was not enough on its own to acquire that knowledge of Jesus.
Ideas by themselves do not lead anywhere and those who pursue the path of their own ideas end up in a labyrinth from where they cant get out again! Its for this reason that heresies have existed from the very beginning of the Church. Heresies are this: trying to understand with our minds and with only our personal light who Jesus is. A great English writer wrote that a heresy is an idea thats gone crazy. Thats right! When they are ideas by themselves they become crazy This is not the right path!
Pope Francis explained that we need to open three doors in order to know Jesus:
The first door is praying to Jesus. You must realize that studying without prayers is no use. We must pray to Jesus to get to know him better. The great theologians did their theology while kneeling. Pray to Jesus! By studying and praying we get a bit closer But well never know Jesus without praying. Never! Never!
The second door is celebrating Jesus. Prayer on its own is not enough, we need the joy of celebration. We must celebrate Jesus through his Sacraments, because these give us life, they give us strength, they nourish us, they comfort us, they forge an alliance with us, they give us a mission. Without celebrating the Sacraments, well never get to know Jesus. This is what the Church is all about: celebration.
The third door is imitating Jesus. Take the Gospel, what did he do, how was his life, what did he tell us, what did he teach us and try to imitate him.
Entering via these three doors, the Pope went on, means entering into the mystery of Jesus and its only in this way that we can get to know him and we mustnt be afraid to do this. During the day, today, we can think about how the door leading to prayer is proceeding in our life: but prayer from the heart is not like that of a parrot! How is prayer of the heart? How is the Christian celebration in my life proceeding? And how is the imitation of Jesus in my life proceeding? How must I imitate him? Do you really not remember! The reason is because the Book of the Gospel is full of dust as its never opened! Take the Book of the Gospel, open it and you will discover how to imitate Jesus! Lets think about how these three doors are positioned in our life and this will be of benefit to everybody.
Is he suggesting setting aside the rote memorized “prayers” in favor of talking to God like the Person He is?
I will not speak for others, but I have found rote prayers to be a gateway to the conversation with God. They put me into a meditative state where I can hear him speak to my heart.
Sounds like a backhanded slap at Protestants...
“Pray with your heart, not like a parrot”
Catholic services are a bit disturbing because of the parroting of memorized lines at specific times during the service.
He’s referring to the nutty ladies at the LCWR, all of whom consider themselves “theologians.” But of course, a lot of what they believe is very similar to certain forms of modern Protestantism, and to Mormonism in particularly, so I guess this just proves that all heresies are the same at heart.
Pray like a socialist.
Good for the guy. Guess he’s taking to heart the Bible’s warning against “vain repetitions”. Chanting is prevalent in cults.
We have R.C. friends, and when they say grace before meals, the prayers are personal, pertinent to specific issues in their/our lives, heartfelt, and end praying “in Jesus’ name”. The guy studied many years for the priesthood, and then started to read the Bible. They still attend a Catholic church because of their heritage, but have many issues with it — rote prayers being one. They don’t “do” the Mary-worship thing, either.
Protestantism = heresies
Thanks for clearing that up...
Very few Catholics will outright admit that...
He sure ought to know. I am still trying to get my mind out of this labyrinth of the three doors idea. Never mind that Christ Himself instructed us in to Whom to pray.
No, he is not. Prayer can be celebrated individually, and most perfectly in communion with the Church. The Liturgy, the highest prayer of the Church where the Eucharist is received. The Liturgy is not my Liturgy, nor My Priest or Bishops nor is it the Pope’s. It is the Church’s Liturgy received from the Apostles and early Church Fathers down thru the centuries with organic developments [to quote From Pope Benedict]. Individual prayers of ones own making in many cases come from individual ideas and when not reconciled with orthodox Tradition and Doctrine can lead to “crazy ideas” to paraphrase Pope Francis and that can lead to outright heresy.
The Nicene Creed and Apostles Creed are rote prayers but they are beautiful and theologically have depth that reflect orthodoxy unlike anything that I could ever come up with myself. The Gloria, the Agnus Dei [Lamb of God], The Doxology of the Liturgy are rote prayers but again, 100% orthodox in its words and doctrine.
Many of these Individualistic prayers that I hear said among Protestants are just that individual prayers and many of them are theologically suspect. They are just as Theologically suspect when uttered by Catholics, in particular these LCWR nuns and some of the prayers they have been spouting. In fact, much of what they are proposing is downright heretical.
The the about mass is that it is a communal act of worship. We have memorized sections so that we are participating with our bodies together in the act of worship. Having said that one does need to actively participate- not just repeat the words without meaning them. But that is a problem for every soul, and has its cause in the weakness of the human condition, not because we have a specific form we follow in order to pray the same prayers and worship together before God as a community.
I also would be careful not to judge on whether someone is actively participating based on how their face looks. We Catholics all have at least 12 children you know-it tends to make us look tired!
Well said. Same here.
Matt 6: 7-9 And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases ( vain repetitions) as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name
I think you misunderstand the warning against vain repetitions. Context is always important.
Even denominations that pride themselves on not using the same prayer repeatedly, always use the same prayers repeatedly. They just repeat their own words rather than inspired words.
The first door is praying to Jesus.
The second door is celebrating Jesus.
The third door is imitating Jesus.
Even Jesus taught the apostles and disciples how to pray the Our Father. Memorized prayer is OK since we are imitating Jesus.
The Doxology of the Liturgy
Which prayer is the Doxology of the Liturgy?