By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Prayer is medicine for one's faith and it reinvigorates the soul, Pope Francis said.
"We need the daily water of prayer, we need time dedicated to God, so that he can enter into our time, into our lives," the pope said Oct. 16 during his Sunday Angelus address.
"We need consistent moments in which we open our hearts to him so that he can daily pour out on us love, peace, joy, strength, hope, thus nourishing our faith," he said.
So often, people spend their day focused on many "urgent-but-unnecessary things," neglecting what counts the most in life, he said. "We allow our love for God to grow cold" bit by bit.
Prayer, he said, is the remedy to rekindle this "tepid faith. Prayer is the medicine for faith; it is the restorative of the soul.”
Just as a patient must "faithfully and regularly" take his or her medication, Pope Francis said, prayer also needs to be consistent and constant – not practiced in fits and starts.
In the Gospel of Luke's parable of the persistent widow, Jesus is showing people that they must "pray always without becoming weary," he said.
When finding the time to pray is a real difficulty, he said, busy people should turn to an old but "wise spiritual practice" called "aspirations." These are very short prayers in which the mind is directed to God and "that can be repeated often throughout the day, in the course of various activities, to remain in tune with the Lord" so that "our hearts remain connected to him."
For example, he said, as soon as people wake up, "we can say, 'Lord, I thank you and I offer this day to you,; " or, before beginning an activity, "we can repeat 'Come, Holy Spirit;'" and throughout the day, people can pray, "’Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I love you.’
"And let's not forget to read his responses" in the Gospel, the pope said.
"The Lord always responds," he said, so people should open the Gospel "several times every day, to receive a word of life directed to us."