You can pray Our Lady, angels, or saints, “but the cornerstone of prayer is the Father.” If we are unable to start the prayer with this word, “it will not go well.” This is what Pope Francis said during his homily in the morning Mass at St. Martha, repeating that a Christian should not consider prayers as “magic words.”
If you pray “invoking the Father – Pope Francis said – you feel the Father’s eyes on me, you feel that the word ‘Father’ is not a waste, like the words of a pagan’s prayer: it is a call to the One who gave me the identity of a child. This is the space of Christian prayer – ‘Father’ -, then we pray all saints, angels, and make processions, pilgrimages… All these things are beautiful, but if you always begin with ‘Father’, with the awareness that we are children and we have a Father who loves us and knows our needs, everyone’s. This is the space.”
Then, the Pontiff commented on “Our Father”, more precisely, on the passage where one prays to learn to forgive the others as God forgives us. “If the space of prayer is saying Father – Pope Bergoglio noted -, the atmosphere of prayer is saying ‘our’, we are brothers, we are family.” The Pope reminded what happened to Cain, who hated the child of the Father, his brother. The Father gives us an identity and a family. “Therefore – the Pope said -, it is very important to have the ability to forgive, forget, forget insults, that healthy habit ‘but, never mind… Let us leave it to the Lord’ and not carry the bitterness, resentment, and desire for revenge.”
“Per questo – ha affermato il Papa – è tanto importante la capacità di perdono, di dimenticare, dimenticare le offese, quella sana abitudine ‘ma, lasciamo perdere… che il Signore faccia Lui’ e non portare il rancore, il risentimento, la voglia di vendetta”.