Pope Francis spoke about the importance of silence and not rushing during Mass, in his catechesis during his General Audience in the Paul VI Hall, on Wednesday. Reflecting on the Gloria, Pope Francis said: "The beginning of this hymn - 'Glory to God in the highest' - takes up the song of the Angels at Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, joyful proclamation of the embrace between Heaven and earth. It is an act of trust in the love of the Holy Trinity. "This song of praise to God the Father and to His Son Jesus Christ, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world, is also a confident supplication of divine goodness."
The Holy Father then commented on the silence, the meditation, which precedes the prayer. After the "Gloria," or when this isn't immediately after the Penitential Act, prayer takes a particular form in the Collect, through which is expressed the character of the celebration, for that day or time of the year.
With the invitation 'Let us pray,' the priest encourages the people to recollect themselves with him in a moment of silence, in order to be conscious of being in the presence of God and recall in their hearts the personal intentions they bring to the Mass.
After the priest says "Let us pray," a moment of silence follows in which each person thinks of their personal intentions, what they wish to ask for in prayer. This silence, the Pontiff noted, is a way each person makes himself available to the Holy Spirit.
"Silence just before the Collect, allows one to dispose oneself to listening to the voice of our heart and especially that of the Holy Spirit and to present to the Lord our personal intentions. "
"After this brief moment of silence, the priest, with his arms extended to imitate Christ on the Cross, expresses to God, in the name of everyone, the common prayer which concludes the rites of introduction, and whose content goes from praise to supplication." Pope Francis concluded by inviting pilgrims to meditate on the readings, outside of the Mass, which would help them learn better how to turn towards God.
Pope Francis then met with groups of pilgrims from Italy and from all over the world. When he met a group of Arabic speakers, a Vatican staffer helped translate his words. He told them: "Dear brothers and sisters, remember to meditate on the texts of the orations, also outside of the Mass. It could help us understand how to turn ourselves to God, what to ask, what words to use. May the liturgy become for everyone a true school of prayer." Pope Francis concluded by blessing the group.
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