Pope Francis has encouraged all believers to pray for each other, and to pray the Lord when we are in need and when we have reason to thank Him.
Concluding his cycle of catecheses dedicated to the corporal works of mercy, the Pope addressed the faithful gathered in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican for the weekly General Audience and reminded them that although the cycle has reached conclusion, we must continue to practice mercy in our lives.
Speaking of the corporal work of mercy which invites us to bury the dead, Pope Francis said it could appear a strange request. In fact it is sadly meaningful in the present day – he said – when we think of the many people who risk their lives in order to give decent burial to the victims of war who live in fear under constant fire and bombardment.
And for us Christians, he said, burial is an act of great faith because when we lower the bodies of our loved ones into the tomb, we do so in the hope of their resurrection.
Turning to the very last of the spiritual works of mercy: praying for the living and the dead, the Pope said it is especially meaningful in this month of November, when we commemorate all the faithful departed and thank the Lord for having allowed us to partake of their love and their friendship.
What’s more, the Pope said, praying for the living and the dead is an eloquent expression of the communion of saints and reminds us of how we are all united in God’s great family.
“This is why we pray for each other” he said.
And encouraging us all to open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, who knows our deepest desires and hopes, and embrace in our prayer all those in any kind of need, the Pope reminded us not to forget also thank God for the good things in our lives.
Concluding his catechesis, Pope Francis expressed his hope that the 14 corporal and spiritual works of mercy on which we have meditated throughout the Holy Year may continue to inspire and guide us on the path of God’s mercy.