VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Do not forget to praise God for all he has done and how he is there to guide people, lowering himself like a loving father who bends down to help his child learn to walk, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.
Giving the Lord praise “brings us joy, to be happy before the Lord” and find safety and comfort in his “paternal and tender” embrace, the pope said Oct. 16 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.
When people pray, they usually know quite well how to ask God for things and how to give him thanks, he said.
But prayers that give God praise are “a little more difficult for us; it’s not quite customary to praise the Lord,” he said, according to Vatican Radio.
Giving praise comes easier when people think about all “the things that the Lord has done in our lives” and remember how God has been holding everyone in his heart since before the beginning of time, he said.
As St. Paul says in the day’s reading from the Letter to the Ephesians (1:1-10), the pope noted, God “has blessed us in Christ” and “chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.”
It’s hard to understand or even imagine how God “chose me before the creation of the world,” the pope said, “how my name was in the Lord’s heart.”
But “this is the truth. This is revelation” that each person’s identity is embedded deep within him “like a child in his mother’s womb. This is our joy of being chosen.”
“If we don’t believe this we are not Christians, you know! Perhaps we may be imbued with a theistic religiosity,” believing a god exists, but it’s not the God of Christ, the pope said.
“The Christian is one who is chosen, the Christian is one chosen in the heart of God before the creation of the world. This reflection, too, fills our heart with joy: I am chosen! And it gives us assurance,” he said.
A prayer of praise, the pope said, is essentially a “prayer of joy” and a prayer that remembers “how much the Lord has done for me, with how much tenderness he accompanies me, how he lowered himself, bent down like a daddy who stoops to help his child walk.”