Prayer Is Abandonment in God's Embrace, Says John Paul II

Pope Resumes Meditations on Psalms at General Audience

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 8, 2003 (Zenit.org).- To pray is to abandon oneself in God's embrace, John Paul II said at a meditation he offered at the general audience.



The Pope said that the believer's confidence is based on the conviction that "the Lord is good and his faithfulness never abandons us, because he is always ready to sustain us with his merciful love."

The Holy Father was commenting on Psalm 99[100] during the first general audience of 2003, held in Paul VI Hall. The audience gathered some 3,000 pilgrims.

The Psalm is a poetic composition that relives the joy of the Israelites when they entered the Temple of Jerusalem to praise the Lord.

The brief passage begins with the well-known words: "Shout joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; worship the Lord with cries of gladness; come before him with joyful song."

The hymn is dominated by the "expression of the relation of love, 'mercy' and faithfulness' joined to 'goodness,'" the Pope said. "When we pray, we should feel in tune with all those who pray, exalting the one Lord in different languages and ways."

With confidence in God and in his love that never leaves us, "the man of prayer abandons himself to the embrace of his God," the Holy Father concluded.

The Pope began his series of meditations on the Psalms and canticles of the Old Testament in 2001. Translations appear in the Wednesday's Audience section of the ZENIT Web page.