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Pope Francis'
reflections: How to
pray with the Gospel

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placeholder February 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers

How to pray with the Gospel
Turn off the television, tune out the neighbors, and "Today find 10 minutes — 15 at the most — and read the Gospel, imagine the scene and say something to Jesus. Nothing more. Your knowledge of Jesus will increase and your hope will grow." Citing the Gospel story of Mark 5:21-43, he said, "Didn't Jesus ever rest? I can think: 'Always with a crowd.' Most of Jesus' life was spent on the road, with the crowd. Was there no rest? Yes, once, the Gospel says he slept in the boat, but a storm came and the disciples woke him up. Jesus was always with the people. And looking at Jesus that way, contemplating Jesus there, I imagine him. And I tell Jesus whatever comes into my mind to tell him." Jesus does not only see the crowd, "he feels the heart beat of each person, of each one of us. He takes care of everyone always. … What I just did with this Gospel is the prayer of contemplation," he said, which involves "taking the Gospel, reading it, imagining myself in the scene, imagining what happens and talking to Jesus about whatever is in my heart." The key to hope, the pope said, is to keep "one's gaze fixed on Jesus."

Pope Francis prays as he leads a Marian prayer service near the Spanish Steps.
Paul Haring/cns

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