POPE ASKS THAT MAY BE DEDICATED TO PRAYER MARATHON – POPE AT AUDIENCE: VOCAL PRAYER IS A SURE WAY SPEAK WITH GOD – VATICAN NEWS ON THE CHAUVIN VERDICT

POPE ASKS THAT MAY BE DEDICATED TO PRAYER MARATHON

A communique this afternoon from the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization announced that “it is the Holy Father’s heartfelt wish that the month of May be dedicated to a marathon of prayer on the theme “From the whole Church the prayer to God went up incessantly (Acts 12,5).”

The council notes that, “this initiative will involve in a special way all the shrines of the world, so that they become promoters for the faithful, families and communities of the recitation of the Rosary to invoke the end of the pandemic.

Thirty representative shrines from around the world will lead the Marian prayer, which will be broadcast live daily on the official channels of the Holy See at 18:00 (6 pm Rome time).”

Pope Francis will open this great prayer on May 1st and end it on May 31st.

POPE AT AUDIENCE: VOCAL PRAYER IS A SURE WAY SPEAK WITH GOD

At today’s general audience live-streamed from the papal library, Pope Francis explained that, “in our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider the importance of vocal prayer. In our dialogue with God, He first spoke to us through His own Word made flesh. He invites us in turn to speak to him in words that embody our deepest thoughts, emotions and experiences. Words do not only express our ideas, they also shape us and often reveal us to ourselves.”

Francis said, “the prayer of the heart and the prayer of our lips can never be separated. As the Catechism tells us, “vocal prayer is an essential element of the Christian life” (No. 2701). Through our spoken or chanted prayer, alone or in common, we find the words that enable us to grow daily in our relationship with God. Prayer thus quietly becomes an essential part of our lives, like the air we breathe. When the disciples asked Jesus to show them how to pray, he responded by teaching them, and us, the words of the Our Father.

In evocative terms, the Holy Father noted that, “We should all have the humility of certain elderly people who, in church… recite softly the prayers they learned as children. That prayer does not disturb the silence, but testifies to their fidelity to the duty of prayer practised throughout their lives, without fail.” These “practitioners of humble prayer … are often the great intercessors of our parishes.”  They too, like all of us, sometimes face dark nights, and “empty moments.” But, the Pope said, “one can always remain faithful to vocal prayer.”

Therefore, Pope Francis concluded, “we must not despise vocal prayer,” which is the only “sure” way “to direct to God the questions He wants to hear.” (source: Vatican media)

VATICAN NEWS ON THE CHAUVIN VERDICT

10:40 AM TODAY:  Conviction announced in George Floyd murder case. Ex-officer Derek Chauvin is convicted for the murder of George Floyd. Almost a year since his murder, jurors have found Derek Chauvin guilty of all three charges on George Floyd’s death. These are: second degree murder, third degree murder and manslaughter. In May last year, the ex-police officer was filmed kneeling on George Floyd for over nine minutes as he arrested him.

We will be bringing you more updates on this story including reactions from the US bishops. (vaticannews.va)

That vaticannews.va update came at 11:30 am with a report on statements by the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) and by the bishops of Minnesota: US Bishops call for racial healing in wake of Chauvin verdict – Vatican News