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Francis in a general audience explains why God does not always give what is asked of him

During Wednesday’s catechesis, Francis reflected on something that “represents for many a real stumbling block in their spiritual life. Is it true that God listens to me? And if it does, why don’t I get what I ask for? “

He said there may be two reasons. In the first place, because there may be wishes that are not appropriate. Secondly, because sometimes God “calls us to grow in faith” and “perseverance”, so he does not grant what is asked of him immediately.


“Dear brothers and sisters:

In today’s catechesis we reflect on a difficulty that for many represents a real stumbling block in their spiritual life. Is it true that God listens to me? And if it does, why don’t I get what I ask for? 

Two answers can be given to this question, the first and most obvious is that our gaze on things is limited and in prayer we should try to listen to his voice and conform to his design of love. This is the lesson of the Lord’s Prayer that in its first three requests calls us to stand on God’s side: so that his will be done, his kingdom come, and his name be sanctified. The opposite would be a kind of magic that seeks to satisfy its own desires and interests without verifying whether or not they are in accordance with God’s project.

The second answer is more delicate, since many people pray humbly and ask for good things, however, God does not always respond in the way we expect.

Here it may be interesting to look at the lesson that the Gospel gives us. Jesus receives many requests from a multitude of faithful who approach him, sometimes the answer is immediate. At other times, however, the Lord calls us to perseverance, like the Canaanite woman asking for her daughter, or to embark on a journey of faith. This is the case of Jairo, the head of the synagogue, first he feels that Jesus is stopping to answer another request, then he receives the news that there is no longer hope. In all these situations Jesus calls us to grow in faith, so that it is this virtue that guides our prayer and all our desires have as their end the greater glory of God.

I cordially greet the Spanish-speaking faithful. I encourage you to let yourself be guided by the Spirit who cries out within us “Abba, Father.” Let us ask to grow in faith, hope and charity, in order in everything and for everything to seek the glory of God and the salvation of men. May the Lord bless you. Thank you”.

Javier Romero/

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