Praise is the inspiration that gives us life, because it is intimacy with God, which grows with praise every day. Some time ago, I heard this example, which seems very appropriate to me: breathing by the human being. Breathing is made up of two phases: to inhale, that is, to bring air inside, and to exhale, to let it go out. The spiritual life is fed, is nourished in prayer and is manifested in the mission: inhaling, prayer, and exhaling. When we inhale, in prayer, we receive the new air of the Spirit and in exhaling it we proclaim Jesus Christ inspired by the same Spirit.
No one can live without breathing. The same is true for the Christian: without praise and without the mission he does not live as a Christian – and with praise, adoration. There is talk of adoration – there is little talk of it. “What is done in prayer?” “I ask God for things, I thank Him, I intercede …” Adoration, to adore God. This is part of breathing: praise and adoration.
The prayer of Charismatics and the whole Church
It was Charismatic Renewal that reminded the Church of the need and importance of the prayer of praise. When there is talk of the prayer of praise in the Church the Charismatics come to mind. When I spoke of the prayer of praise during a Mass at Saint Martha’s, I said it was not only the prayer of Charismatics but of the whole Church! It is the acknowledgment of the Lordship of God over us and over the whole of creation expressed in dance, in music and in song.
Now I would like to take up some passages of that homily. ”The prayer of praise is a Christian prayer for all of us. Every day in the Mass, when we sing repeating “Holy, Holy, Holy …” this is a prayer of praise; we praise God for his greatness because He is great. And we say lovely things to Him, because we like to do so … The prayer of praise makes us fecund. Sarah dances in the great moment of her fecundity at 90 years of age! Fecundity gives praise to God. The man and woman that praise the Lord, who pray praising the Lord – and when they do so they are happy to say so – and they rejoice when they sing the Sanctus in the Mass, they are a fecund man or woman.
We think how lovely it is to engage in the prayer of praise. This must be our prayer of praise and, when we raise it to the Lord, we must say to our heart: ‘Arise, heart, because you are before the King of glory’” (Mass at Saint Martha’s, January 28, 2014).
Cry of intercession for those persecuted
Together with the prayer of praise, the prayer of intercession is today a cry to the Father for our persecuted and killed Christian brothers, and for peace in our troubled world.
Praise the Lord always, do not cease to do it; always praise Him more, incessantly. I was told about prayer groups in Charismatic Renewal in which the Rosary is recited together. The prayer to Our Lady must never be lacking, never! But when you come together, praise the Lord!
Vatican City, October 31, 2014 (Zenit.org)
Pope’s address to members of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships, on the occasion of their 16th International Conference on the theme: “Charismatic Praise and Adoration for a New Evangelization.”