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Pope Francis says "If you can cheer for a sports team..."

posted Feb 22, 2014, 6:43 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Feb 22, 2014, 6:43 PM ]
In his morning homily on January 28th, Pope Francis reflected on the reading from the Second Book of Samuel, in which “David danced with all his might before the Lord,” explaining that David’s abandon, which “led him to move beyond all composure, was precisely a prayer of praise.”

And the Holy Father could imagine someone objecting; "But that's for people in the Renewal in the Spirit, not for all Christians." To which he replies, "No, prayers of praise are for all of us! We experience it in the Mass, every day. The Psalms are filled with prayers of praise and that's what the Holy, Holy, Holy and Gloria are…”

He knows some people might think they can't pray that way. So he counters, "You're able to shout when your team makes a goal, but you cannot sing the Lord's praises? Many Christians find it easy to cheer their favorite sports team but have a difficult time praising the Lord. We must come out of our shell.” He further stated “we must sincerely ask ourselves if we know how to praise. How is it that we praise the Lord during Mass? Are we merely repeating words out of habit or are we really praising the Lord because He is Holy and He is worthy? The joy of praise leads us to the joy of the feast – the feast of the family.”

Communal singing has long been a way for people to remember, share, and celebrate a familiar experience. And enthusiasm is contagious. So if you enjoy singing, try doing it even more passionately; and perhaps those who are reluctant will get excited and want to be a part of all the positive energy; tapping their feet, humming the tune... If you’re enjoying yourself, others will journey almost any distance with you into the music.