brothers and sisters, in our prayers we should look at how often, in the
events of our lives, the Lord has protected us, guided us, helped us,”
the Pope said at the Oct. 12 general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
encouraged Christians to “be more attentive to the good things that the
Lord gives us. We are always attentive to the problems, difficulties
and almost do not want to see that there are good things come from the
In his latest discourse on prayer, Pope Benedict was dwelt on Psalm 126. It charts the joy of the Jewish people returning from their exile in Babylon in the 6th century B.C. Even today, the psalm is sung in an upbeat, joyous manner at Jewish religious occasions.
the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who
dreamed,” reads the psalm’s first line as it depicts a people whose
“mouths were filled with laughter” and “tongues with songs of joy.”
psalm “celebrates the great things which the Lord has done for His
people, and which He continues to do for all believers,” said Pope
The importance of this gratitude to God, he added, is
that it creates hearts “full of joy” and memories “of the good that also
helps us in the dark hours.”
Such good memories are required by
the Jewish people in the psalm, the Pope observed, as they returned to
find to a promised land now “impoverished, devastated.” “Those who sow
with tears will reap with songs of joy,” is how the psalmist expresses
“This imagery of the seed which silently grows to
maturity reminds us that God’s salvation is at once a gift already
received and the object of our hope, a promise whose fulfilment remains
in the future,” the Pope.
And he noted how Jesus later uses the
same imagery to “express the passage from death to life, from darkness
to light, which must take place in the lives of all who put their faith
in him and share in his paschal mystery.”
“This psalm teaches us
that, in our prayer, we must always remain hopeful and firm in our faith
in God,” even when our life is “marked often by suffering, uncertainty,
moments of crisis,” said the Pope, echoing a theme of his teachings
from the last several weeks.
This hope and faith is fulfilled in Jesus, with whom “our exile ends, and every tear is dried.” It is in the “great discovery of Jesus Christ” that “we learn that even in dark nights, not to forget that the light exists, that God is already in the midst of our life and that we can sow with great confidence.”
Pope Benedict finished his discourse by saying: “As we pray this Psalm, may we echo the song of the Virgin Mary by rejoicing in the great things which the Almighty has done for us, and by awaiting in hope the fulfilment of God’s promises.”
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