Pope Francis greets thousands of pilgrims for the General Audience telling them that the liturgy is a true school of prayer

cq5dam.thumbnail.cropped.750.422Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his catechesis on the Holy Eucharist during his General Audience, focusing his attention on the Gloria and the opening prayer of the Mass.

Speaking to the estimated 7 thousand pilgrims and tourists gathered in the Paul VI hall, the Pope recalled the rite of reciting the Ancient hymn “Glory to God in the highest”.

Echoing the song of the angelus, at our Lord’s birth, said the Holy Father, “we praise the mercy of the Father in sending his Son who takes away the sins of the world.” Pope Francis noted that “the Opening Prayer is also called the “Collect”, because it gathers up and presents to the Triune God all our individual prayers.”

Importance of silence

The Pope went on to explain that the priest’s invitation, “Let us pray”, is followed by a moment of silence, and he urged priests “not to rush” but respect these silent moments, adding that without this silence we risk “neglecting the recollection of the soul”. Silence, said Pope Francis means being ready to listen to one’s heart and above all, the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Liturgy a school of prayer

Concluding his catechesis, the Holy Father underlined that “by reflecting on these rich prayers, and uniting ourselves with the Church in lifting them up to God, we see how the liturgy becomes for each Christian a true school of prayer.”

Vatican News

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