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Pope encourages prayer at the start of the day

Pope John Paul II believes beginning the day with prayer is the best way to face life's joys and difficulties because it enables us to live close to God.

The Pope dedicated Wednesday's general audience to a meditation on part of the longest Psalm, 118(119), in which the Psalmist rises before dawn to implore divine help.

About 3000 pilgrims attended the audience in Paul VI Hall. Although the pope's voice was fairly clear, he skipped over about three-quarters of the text of his main talk in Italian. John Paul read the full texts of the prepared summaries in six other languages and spent almost a half-hour greeting individuals

The Pope's hope for all believers was "that every morning [we] open our eyes on daily life, on its joys and worries, invoking God so that he will be close to us and guide us with his word, which infuses serenity and grace."

"At times the horizon is dark and stormy," he said. Quoting from the Psalm he added: "'Malicious persecutor draw near me; they are far from your teaching.'"

"However," the Holy Father continued, "the one who prays has an unbreakable certainty, the closeness of God with his word and his grace."

Zenit/Catholic News Service

Pope John Paul II Audiences | General Audience 15/1/03 (English)
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17 Jan 2003