Pope at Angelus: God is with you in your most difficult times

Pope Francis gives thanks for the closeness of the Lord, who like a father, takes us by the hand when we fall and struggle, and he encourages the faithful to trust in him and perform works of love and hope. He expresses his profound gratitude to all for the prayerful support when he was in hospital.

By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis opened his Sunday Angelus address by expressing his profound gratitude to all for their affection, care, friendship, and prayerful support during his time at Rome's Gemelli Hospital. The Pope returned to the Vatican on Friday after release from the hospital.

“This human closeness and spiritual closeness were of great help and comfort to me. Thank you all! Thank you! Thank you from my heart!”

Last Sunday the weekly rendez-vous with believers and pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square could not go ahead as the Holy Father recovered from abdominal surgery performed in Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on 7 June.

But his speedy recovery led to his dismissal from the hospital on Friday morning, and on Sunday, at noon, he appeared at the window of the Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus and greet his flock.

The Lord is in our midst

Taking his cue from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 10:7), in which Jesus sends the Apostles forth to proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, he noted that the fact that “His lordship of love, has come near” and is in our midst is “the fundamental reality of life.”

“Indeed, if the God of heaven is close, we are not alone on earth, and even in difficulty we do not lose faith,” he said.

Explaining that God is a father who knows his children and loves them, the Pope assured the faithful that “even when you travel on steep and rugged paths, even when you fall and struggle to get up again and get back on track,” the Lord is close.

“In the moments when you are at your weakest, you can feel his presence all the more strongly. He knows the path, he is with you, he is your Father!”

With God everything becomes familiar and secure

Inviting believers to stay with the image of a loving father who takes his child by the hand making the world, that appears “large and mysterious,” familiar and secure, the Pope invited them to go out and proclaim God’s vicinity.

“God’s vicinity is the first proclamation: by staying close to God, we conquer fear, we open ourselves to love, we grow in goodness and we feel the need and the joy to proclaim.”

“If we want to be good apostles, we must be like children,” the Holy Father said, allowing the Father to transform our hearts and give us that joy and that peace that we ourselves cannot attain.

Perform deeds of love and hope

The way to proclaim that God is near, the Pope continued, is not “by saying many words, but performing many deeds of love and hope in the name of the Lord.”

“Here is the heart of proclamation: witness freely given, service.”

Pope Francis concluded inviting the faithful to ask themselves whether they believe and confide in God, whether they listen to the Word and partake of the Sacraments; whether they know how to instil courage in others and be close to those who suffer and are alone.

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

18 June 2023, 12:20

The Angelus is a special prayer recited by Catholics three times a day, at 6am, noon, and 6pm and is accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. The name comes from the Latin word for Angel and the prayer itself reminds us of how Jesus Christ assumed our human nature through the Mystery of the Incarnation.
The Pope recites the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square every Sunday at midday.
He also gives a brief reflection on the Gospel of the day and often comments on some issue of international concern. The Pope’s words are broadcast all over the world on radio and television and widely shared on social media.
From Easter to Pentecost the Regina Coeli is prayed instead of the Angelus. This prayer commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and, like the Angelus, concludes with the recitation of the Gloria three times.

Latest Angelus / Regina Coeli

Read all >