True freedom, strength come when human will guided by God, pope says
Published: February 1, 2012
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Only by fully following God's will can humanity find true freedom and the strength to bear the fear or suffering in one's life, Pope Benedict XVI said. "Only by conforming one's own will to the divine does the human person reach his true greatness -- becomes divine," he said. Only by shedding one's own interests and goals for God's does humanity obtain what everyone wants: "to be completely free," the pope said. Speaking at his weekly general audience Feb. 1, Pope Benedict continued his catechesis on prayer by highlighting Jesus' intense prayer to his father in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus understood the hour of betrayal and death was near, and his prayer "reveals his human fear and anguish," the pope said. Though he implored God to "take this cup away from me" and spare him, Jesus quickly showed his complete obedience to his father's will when he added, "not what I want, but what you want," the pope said. It's not always easy to discern and comply with what God wants, he said. But it will help, he said, if people "learn to trust more in God's providence" and pray every day for the strength to step out of oneself and step up to God's plan. When praying the "Lord's Prayer" every day, one is asking that God's "will be done on earth as it is in heaven," the pope said. The prayer shows that not only does God have a plan for everyone, "we also recognize that it is in heaven where God's will is done and that the earth becomes heaven -- a place where there is love, goodness, truth, divine beauty -- only if the will of God is done," he said.
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .