Prayer is abandoning self to God's will, pope says

March 7, 2011

Prayer is not a reflection on one's self, but a complete abandonment to the word and will of God, Pope Benedict said.

Every person's actions and life must be inspired by prayer and the Gospel, by living simply and helping others, not accumulating wealth, the pope said Feb. 23 at his weekly general audience.

The pope highlighted the life and writings of St. Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit theologian who lived from 1542-1621.

The pope's catechesis was a continuation of a series of talks dedicated to the "doctors of the Church."

St. Bellarmine offered an important model for prayer, which should be the inspiration for every action, the pope said.

A person in prayer "listens to the word of God, is satisfied with contemplating grandeur, isn't wrapped up in oneself, but is happy to abandon oneself to God," he said.