By Courtney Grogan
Pope Francis said Sunday that prayer in adoration of God and service to others spreads the fire of God’s love, changing the world one heart at a time.
“I invite everyone to discover the beauty of the prayer of adoration and to exercise it often,” Pope Francis said Aug. 18.
Adoration of God in prayer is necessary to allow the fire of love that Jesus brought to the earth to envelop our entire existence, the pope explained.
In his Angelus address, the pope reflected upon this Sunday’s Gospel from Luke in which Jesus says to his disciples, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”
“These words are intended to help the disciples to abandon any attitude of laziness, apathy, indifference and closure to welcome the fire of God’s love; that love which, as Saint Paul reminds us, ‘has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,’” Pope Francis said.
“Jesus reveals to his friends, and also to us, his most ardent desire: to bring to earth the fire of the Father’s love, which kindles life and through which man is saved,” he said.
The Gospel is a limitless fire that saves and changes the world beginning with a change inside the heart of each person, Francis said. For this, he explained, it is necessary to adore God and serve others.
“It is a question of not living in a hypocritical way, but of being willing to pay the price for coherent choices – this is the attitude that each of us should look for in life: consistency – paying the price to be consistent with the Gospel,” Pope Francis said.
“It is good to say that we are Christians, but above all we must be Christians in concrete situations, bearing witness to the Gospel which is essentially love for God and for our brothers,” he said.
Pope Francis pointed to the example of communities and groups of young people who dedicate their summers to service to others. The pope said that he admires those who devote themselves to the service of the sick, the poor, and people with disabilities.
“To live according to the spirit of the Gospel it is necessary that, in the face of ever new needs that are looming in the world, there are disciples of Christ who know how to respond with new initiatives of charity,” he said.
“May Mary Most Holy help us to let our hearts be purified by the fire brought by Jesus and to spread it with our lives through decisive and courageous choices,” Pope Francis said.