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We should meditate on Psalm 102 every day, says Pope

By on Monday, 1 July 2013

Pope prays rosary at Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome Photo: CNS

Pope prays rosary at Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome Photo: CNS

Every Catholic in the world should try to set aside up to five minutes a day to meditate on the words of Psalm 102, Pope Francis said at morning Mass today.

In his homily in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, he said: “Pray all of this psalm and with this we learn the things we must say to the Lord when we request a grace. ‘You who are Merciful and forgiving, grant me this grace:’ just as Abraham did and as Moses did.”

Reflecting on today’s First Reading he said: “Abraham is a courageous man and prays with courage.” Abraham, he said, “finds the strength to speak face to face with the Lord and attempts to defend that city.”

According to Vatican Radio Pope Francis said that prayer required courage and tenacity.

He said: “When we speak of courage we always think of apostolic courage – going out to preach the Gospel, these sort of things … But there’s also [the kind of] courage [demonstrated] before the Lord. That sense of paralysis before the Lord: going courageous before the Lord to request things.

“It makes you laugh a bit; this is funny because Abraham speaks with the Lord in a special way, with this courage, and one doesn’t know: is this a man who prays or is this a‘phoenician deal’ because he’s bartering the price, down, down… And he’s tenacious: from 50 he’s succeeded in lowering the price down to ten. He knew that it wasn’t possible. Only that it was right…. But with that courage, with that tenacity, he went ahead.”

  • An onlooker

    Wonderful words from a great teacher.

  • paulpriest


    I can make neither hide nor hair of this…
    So it’s either the translation…
    Or colombian incense in the thurible.

  • paulpriest

    Please explain it if you understand it

    I get the bartering/tenacity/bravery bit…
    But there’s no linking ‘middle’ to explain why
    is this merely tenacity in prayer when requesting?

  • Benedict Carter

    Deleted by author

  • An onlooker

    The bit that I found so moving (apart from the psalm) was ‘He knew it wasn’t possible. Only that it was right’. It is such a simple but powerful expression of absolute faith in God to be able to use us, however flawed, to do what seems impossible to our limited vision. It made me think that Pope Francis has placed himself entirely in God’s hands and made me want to be able to do the same. (Sadly though I’m a very long way from feeling able to do that!!!)

  • NatOns

    “But with that courage, with that tenacity, he went ahead.”

    That is the meaning of divine prayer in the orthodox Catholic sense: to do the Father’s will, even if He seems tardy to fulfil it .. or does so in the most abstruse ways imaginable to the fleshly mind.

    “Bless the Lord, O my soul;
    and all my being, bless His holy Name.
    Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all His benefits.
    He pardons all your iniquities,
    He heals all your ills.
    He redeems your life from destruction,
    He crowns you with kindness and compassion.”

    Regardless of our failings, our dimmed understanding, our downright muddle-headed wilfulness, it is His will to crown us with kindness and compassion .. whether we deserve it or not: He seeks it – if we but allow Him so to do – for us.

    God Bless Our Pope!

  • Julian Lord

    The Italian is not up at the Vatican website yet, pp, sorry …

  • Dan

    If I imagined this as a play it would show a relationship that seems very human in both parties. In a way I seen this as a honest relationship example between God and Man with a touch of humor. It does demonstrate a way of relating to God. It helped me.

  • Gina Perez

    The plan of “Salvation” is simple.” Be truly Repented for anything you have done,stop sinning and God will forgive you and come into your Heart.” The Catholic Church complicates the plan of Salvation. With its Meaningless, Rituals, Rosaries, Praying to Saints (who were Good Godly People in the Church) and Mother Mary and Joseph who were born of flesh, just as we were and only by the Grace of God were they forgiven.

    Mary received the Holy Spirit of God along with the Apostles in the Book of Acts in the Bible but they were never given the power to answer prays.

    Only God can answer our prayers.So why are Catholics praying to the beautiful Mother Mary and the Saints, people like you and I, working for the Church and doing the will of God but powerless to answer our Prayers.
    One of our latest, deceased workers of God, St.Theresa.Can we pray out to her to get our Prayers answere? No! She was a good hard working servant of God on Earth she can’t answer our prayers.

  • Gemma L Rivera

    These verses are from Psalm 103. Psalm 102 has 28 verses and subtitled “A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord” just as the Pope had described it in his homily.

  • Gina Perez

    A Pope suggesting that we read a Psalm every morning is a step forward? Hes actually saying to open up our Bible every morning and reading Psalm 102 in the Bible. So he uses and is encouraging us to use the Bible. My first Day on How much has the Catholic Church grown in all these yrs.?
    Rome wasn’t created in a Day.

  • NatOns

    True, but the Greek and Latin numbering for many of the psalms differs in tradition from the more prevalent numbering adopted in English versions. It may be Vatican Radio has confused the two .. I cannot say. The Douay Rheims version of the psalm “Domine Exaudi” (The prayer of a poor man: Hear O Lord) is Psalm 101.,_tenacity/en1-706505

    I suspect “Benedic, anima” (For David himself: Bless the Lord, O my soul) better suits the actual point that His Holiness was making above (and elsewhere), of thanksgiving to God for His mercies in all the works of tender care .. good, bad and truly awful: for they all tend to glory from Him.

    “Bless the Lord, all his works: in every place of his dominion, O my soul, bless thou the Lord.” Ps 102 v 22 (Douay Rheims).


    “Because of Thy anger and indignation: for having lifted me up Thou hast thrown me down.” Ps 101 V 11 (Douay Rhiems).

    Pope Francis does not account all suffering to be a direct punishment from God, some of it is healthy as a natural warning, some the natural outcome of selfishness, some a natural failure; but at times it can be seen as a divine response to pride, or a test on one’s fidelity, or the result of disobedience; all these and more besides are dealt with in the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ – hoist on the Cross, thrown down to the spirits in Prison, and raised to Glory at the Father’s right hand – this we see even in our midst, deep in the Wounds of Christ .. the Treasure of the Church .. and the tenacity of a poor man’s blessed trust in the Lord (He Who does not deceive, however oddly He may go about achieving His will for us).

    “The Lord hath prepared His throne in heaven: and His kingdom shall rule over all.” Ps 102 v 19 (Douay Rheims).

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