|Source: National Catholic Register|
On Wednesday, Pope Francis urged Catholics to feel free to protest if called by God when facing suffering and injustice. During a reflection on the Book of Job while addressing a crowd in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said that “God is not afraid of our prayer of protest.”
“Sometimes I meet people who approach me and say: ‘But, Father, I protested against God because I have this and that problem…’ But, you know, friend, that protesting is a way to pray when it is done like that,” he said.
“When children, when young people object against their parents, it is a way of attracting their attention and of asking that they take care of them.”
“If you have some wound in your heart, some pain, and you want to object, object even to God. God will listen to you. God is a Father. God is not afraid of our prayer of protest, no! God understands. But be free, be free in your prayer. Don’t imprison your prayer within preconceived paradigms.”
The pope’s reflection was the 10th in a cycle on old age that the 85-year-old Pope began in February.
Pope Francis said: “On our catechetical itinerary, we meet Job when he was an old man. We encounter him as a witness of a faith that does not accept a ‘caricature’ of God, but protests loudly in the face of evil until God responds and reveals his face.”
“And in the end, God responds, as always, in a surprising way — He shows Job His glory without crushing him, or better still, with sovereign tenderness, tenderly, just like God always does.”
“The pages of this book need to be read well, without prejudices, without stereotypes, to understand the power of Job’s cry. It would be good for us to put ourselves in his school to overcome the temptation of moralism due to the exasperation and bitterness of the pain of having lost everything.”
Additionally, the pope noted that Job reached a turning point at the height of his “venting,” proclaiming, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25-27).
“This passage is really beautiful,” he remarked. “It makes me think of the end of that brilliant oratorio of Handel, the ‘Messiah,’ after the celebrative Hallelujah, the soprano slowly sings this passage: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives,’ peacefully.”
“And so, after this painful and joyful experience of Job, the voice of the Lord is something else. ‘I know that my Redeemer lives’ — it is truly a beautiful thing. We could interpret it like this: ‘My God, I know You are not a Persecutor. My God will come and do me justice.’”
The pope’s remarks come at a time of heightened global conversations about the role of justice, climate change, sovereignty and territorial rights are being debated globally. By inspiring others to act, the Vatican hopes the Catholic Church can be a positive catalyst for change.
Source: National Catholic Register