Crying out to God is sign of faith, pope says at audience

By: By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Crying out to God when one is in the grips of pain or fear is a sign of faith in God, Pope Benedict XVI said.

A central tenet of faith is believing that the loving God is always close to his creatures and ready to reach out and save them, the pope said Sept. 7 during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square.

The pope, who is still staying at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, returned to the Vatican by helicopter for the general audience with about 11,000 pilgrims and visitors. Afterward, he went back to the papal villa, about 20 miles south of Rome.

Continuing a series of audience talks about prayer, Pope Benedict told those gathered for the audience that when they are really hurting or afraid, they can use Psalm 3 to express both their suffering and their trust in God.

Like the psalmist, he said, “we, too, are tempted to think perhaps God won’t save me, doesn’t know me, there’s no possibility (of being rescued). The temptation against faith is the ultimate aggression of the enemy. And we must resist it. In this way we will find God and find life.”

The psalm, attributed to King David when he was fleeing the army of his rebellious son, demonstrates that believers are never abandoned and “enemies are not unbeatable like he thought because the Lord hears the cry of the oppressed and responds,” the pope said.

“Man cries in anguish, in danger, in pain; man cries for help and God responds,” he said. “To cry out means to have faith in God’s closeness and willingness to listen.”

Psalm 3 is a reminder that no matter how bad things get, “God is always near, including in the midst of difficulties and problems, in the darkness of life. He listens, responds and saves in his own way, but we must be able to recognize his presence and accept his ways.”

The pope ended his audience by praying that the Lord would “give us faith, come to our rescue when we are weak and make us able to believe and to pray in the midst of all anguish, in the dark nights of doubt and during the long days of suffering, abandoning ourselves with confidence in him, our shield and our glory.”

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