In his fourth catechesis on prayer, Pope Francis reflects on the tragedy of sin, the original sin of Adam and Eve (cf. Gen 3:1-7), and personal sin of each person after them, embodied in the story of Cain and Abel (cf. Gen 4:1-16).
Yet seeing the wickedness of man and evil in the world there is already a kid of reverse revelation: revealing that there is need of a new beginning, a new creation, which will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
And Pope Francis notes that in Genesis, these first pages of the Bible, there is still hope. “While almost everyone behaves in a wicked manner, making hatred and conquest the great engine of human affairs, there are people who are capable of praying to God with sincerity, capable of writing mankind’s destiny in a different way.”
- Abel offers God the first sacrifice (Gen 4:3).
- Enosh, “began to call upon the name of the Lord”. (4:26).
- Enoch, who “walked with God” and was taken to heaven (cf. 5:22, 24).
- Noah, a righteous man who “walked with God” (6:9).
In these figures, we see that prayer is a bulwark; a refuge before the flood wave of evil that grows in the world. Thus Pope Francis says: “Prayer cultivates flowerbeds of rebirth in places where man’s hatred has only been able to expand the desert. And prayer is powerful because it attracts the power of God and the power of God always gives life: always. He is the God of life and he causes rebirth.”
Pope Francis invites us to meditate on the Sign of the Cross. It one one of the first prayers we learn as children, and therefore it remains planted in the heart, a seed of life, a seed of prayer and dialogue with God.
We continue to ask God to transform our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh (cf. Ez 36:26) “Prayer opens the door to God, turning our often stony hearts into a human heart.”
(Did you miss the previous posts on the Pope’s catechesis? Click here.)