That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.

1. First: the family prays.  The Gospel passage speaks about two ways of praying, one is false – that of the Pharisee – and the other is authentic – that of the tax collector.  The Pharisee embodies an attitude which does not express thanksgiving to God for his blessings and his mercy, but rather self-satisfaction.  The Pharisee feels himself justified, he feels his life is in order, he boasts of this, and he judges others from his pedestal.  The tax collector, on the other hand, does not multiply words.  His prayer is humble, sober, pervaded by a consciousness of his own unworthiness, of his own needs.  Here is a man who truly realizes that he needs God’s forgiveness and his mercy.

The prayer of the tax collector is the prayer of the poor man, a prayer pleasing to God.  It is a prayer which, as the first reading says, “will reach to the clouds” (Sir 35:20), unlike the prayer of the Pharisee, which is weighed down by vanity.

In the light of God’s word, I would like to ask you, dear families: Do you pray together from time to time as a family?  Some of you do, I know.  But so many people say to me: But how can we? As the tax collector does, it is clear: humbly, before God.  Each one, with humility, allowing themselves to be gazed upon by the Lord and imploring his goodness, that he may visit us.  But in the family how is this done? After all, prayer seems to be something personal, and besides there is never a good time, a moment of peace…  Yes, all that is true enough, but it is also a matter of humility, of realizing that we need God, like the tax collector!  And all familes, we need God: all of us! We need his help, his strength, his blessing, his mercy, his forgiveness.  And we need simplicity to pray as a family: simplicity is necessary! Praying the Our Father together, around the table, is not something extraordinary: it’s easy. And praying the Rosary together, as a family, is very beautiful and a source of great strength!  And also praying for one another! The husband for his wife, the wife for her husband, both together for their children, the children for their grandparents….praying for each other.  This is what it means to pray in the family and it is what makes the family strong: prayer. […]

HOLY MASS FOR THE FAMILY DAY
ON THE OCCASION OF THE YEAR OF FAITH
HOMILY
POPE FRANCIS
27 October 2013

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The prayer of the Holy Rosary

 

[…] The Lord speaks to us in the depths of our conscience, he speaks to us through Sacred Scripture, he speaks to us in prayer. Learn to stay before him in silence. to read and meditate on the Bible, especially the Gospels, to converse with him every day in order to feel his presence of friendship and love. Here I would like to emphasize the beauty of a simple contemplative prayer, accessible to all, great and small, the educated and those with little education. It is the prayer of the Holy Rosary. In the Rosary we turn to the Virgin Mary so that she may guide us to an ever closer union with her Son Jesus to bring us into conformity with him, to have his sentiments and to behave like him. Indeed, in the Rosary while we repeat the Hail Mary we meditate on the Mysteries, on the events of Christ’s life, so as to know and love him ever better. The Rosary is an effective means for opening ourselves to God, for it helps us to overcome egotism and to bring peace to hearts, in the family, in society and in the world.
Dear young people, Christ’s love and his friendship are not an illusion — Jesus on the Cross shows how real they are — nor are they the privilege of a few. You will discover this friendship and feel its full fruitfulness and beauty if you seek it with sincerity, open yourselves to him with trust, cultivate your spiritual life with perseverance, receiving the sacraments, meditating on Sacred Scripture, praying assiduously, and living with deep involvement in the Christian community. May you feel a living part of the Church, committed to evangelization, in union with your brothers and sisters in the faith and in communion with your Pastors. Do not be afraid to live out faith! Be witnesses of Christ in your daily environment, with simplicity and courage. Above all may you be able to show those you meet, your peers, the Face of mercy and the love of God who always forgives, encourages and imbues hope. May you always be attentive to the other, especially to people who are poorer and weaker, living and bearing witness to brotherly love, to counter all forms of selfishness and withdrawal. […]

MESSAGE TO YOUNG LITHUANIANS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE “SIXTH NATIONAL YOUTH DAY”
OF LITHUANIA CELEBRATED IN KAUNAS
POPE FRANCIS
21 June 2013

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