World Feb. 2, 2014

Pope punts notion that praise should stay solemn

By Agnieszka Ruck

VANCOUVER—Days before fans settled in for the Super Bowl match between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks Feb. 2, Pope Francis suggested to the faithful that praising the Lord can be just like rooting for your favourite team.

Christians shouldn't be afraid to show the same fervour in their praise, he said.

"You are able to shout out when your team scores a goal, and you cannot sing the Lord's praises?" he asked in a homily Jan. 28, according to Vatican Radio.

Reflecting on the day's reading (2 Sm 6:12-15, 17-19), the Pontiff encouraged Catholics to react to touchdowns and tabernacles with similar joy.

"King David offered sacrifice in honour of God; he prayed. Then his prayer became exultant. It became the prayer of praise and of joy, and he began to dance," he said.

Scripture writes that he "danced before the Lord with all his might. That was truly the prayer of praise."

The Pontiff tackled the notion that enthusiasm in prayer belongs to the "renewal in the Spirit movement," teaching instead that it is "for all Christians."

"When I pray the Gloria or the Sanctus, do I pray only with my lips, and not with all my heart?"