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Pope addresses why we pray?

In his weekly audience yesterday John Paul II reminded Christians that authentic prayer is not just about asking God to help us. Prayer is also about our praise and thanksgiving to Him. - Zenit

Zenit news agency reports that at Wednesday's General Audience, Pope John Paul "reminded Christians that authentic prayer is not just a petition addressed to God but also an act of praise and thanksgiving."

The Pope is presently giving a series of meditations on Vespers - the evening prayer of the Church. His talk yesterday was on Chapter 15 of the Book of Revelation which the Pope described as "a hymn of adoration".

The news agency reports His Holiness saying: "Authentic prayer is not only a petition but also praise, thanksgiving, blessing, celebration and profession of faith in the Lord who saves. For this reason, every prayer in a certain sense expresses the hopes and desires of the whole of humanity."

In prayer, John Paul II indicated, "our gaze is extended to the whole horizon and one perceives rivers of people who converge toward the Lord to recognize his 'just judgments,' namely, his interventions in history to defeat the evil and praise the good."

"The search for justice present in all cultures, the need for truth and love perceived in all spirituality, contain a tendency toward the Lord, which is only satisfied when he is found," the Pope continued.

"It is beautiful to think of this universal air of religiosity and hope, assumed and interpreted by the words of the prophets," he added.

By way of example, the Pope quoted Malachi 1:11, who puts these words in God's mouth: "For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is great among the nations."

The series of meditations can be found in the Zenit archive at

Pope to visit Lourdes

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, director of the Holy See Press Office, announced yesterday that "the Holy Father John Paul II will go on pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Lourdes, France, on August 14 and 15, 2004 for the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary." Catholic World News has further background on this story (see link below).

Zenit - Pray to Adore and Give Thanks, Not Just to Petition, Says Pope
CWN - Pope's visit to Lourdes confirmed for August

25 Jun 2004