“The Holy Father continued to talk about the Eucharist and the Holy Mass and speaking about the fact that when we say the Gloria, he called it an opening of earth to heaven—which I think was such wonderful imagery to imagine—in response to heaven bending down to earth, is how he put it,” says Ashley Noronha, Relevant Radio Vatican Correspondent.
“So the Holy Father reminded us that it echoes the song of the Angelus that is sung at the birth of our Lord. And in this way, we praise the mercy of the Father, because He sent His Son to us who takes away the sins of the world. And he pointed out that the opening prayer, which is also called the ‘Collect’, gets its name because it gathers up all our prayers and presents our individual prayers to the Triune God,” says Noronha.
“And after the Gloria, the priest asks the people to gather in that moment of silence to be aware of the presence of God and to really bring out each of our personal intentions through which we can participate in the Mass more fully. The pope then called to mind that moment of silence during the opening prayer. He reminded us that silence isn’t only the absence of words, but it’s a call for all of us to listen to other voices. In other words, to the voice of God that’s inside of our hearts. That voice of the Holy Spirit is what should be guiding us and leading us through the Mass.”
“We don’t just participate in these prayers, but we have to reflect on them,” says Norona. “The Holy Father recommended to us to go back and meditate on the texts even outside of the Mass because this helps us to learn how to turn to God, to know how to communicate with Him, to know what words to use with Him. And, as Pope Francis put it today, the liturgy becomes a true school of prayer for all of us.”
Read the Holy Father’s general audience address here: January 10, 2018 address