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We can all win, win everything!, assures Pope Francis at audience

Continuing today his general audience series on the sacrament of baptism, Pope Francis offered a comforting reflection: “We never go to the baptismal font alone, but rather we are accompanied by the prayer of the whole Church.” And this prayer accompanies us always, today as well.

The pope spoke about how those preparing for baptism receive an education from Jesus, from his teaching and his works, and “relive the experience of the Samaritan woman thirsty for living water, of the man blind from birth who opens his eyes to the light, of Lazarus coming out of the tomb.”

“The Gospel carries within itself the strength to transform those who welcome it with faith, tearing them from the dominion of the wicked so that they may learn to serve the Lord with joy and newness of life,” he said.

In this process of serving the Lord, Francis assured that the Church is our biggest — and indispensable — support.

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The litanies of the saints preceding the prayer of exorcism and the pre-baptismal anointing with the oil of the catechumens are “gestures that, since ancient times, assure those who are preparing to be reborn as children of God that the Church’s prayer will assist them in the fight against evil, accompany them on the path of good, and help them to escape the power of sin to pass into kingdom of divine grace,” the Holy Father said.

“The Church prays, and prays for everyone, for all of us,” Francis exclaimed.

And then he invited, “We Church, let us pray for others. It is a beautiful thing to pray for others. How often we have no urgent need and so we do not pray. We must pray, joined to the Church, for others: ‘Lord, I ask you for those who are in need, for those who do not have faith…’ Do not forget: the prayer of the Church is always ongoing. But we must enter into this prayer and pray for all the people of God, and for those who are in need of prayers.”

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The pope said baptism is no “magic formula” but a gift from the Holy Spirit, “which enables those who receive it to fight against the ‘spirit of evil.”

“It is difficult to fight against evil, to escape from its deceptions, to regain strength after a tiring struggle,” he recognized, “but we must know that all of Christian life is a fight. But we must also know that we are not alone, that the Mother Church prays so that her children, regenerated in Baptism, do not succumb to the snares of the evil one but rather defeat them by the power of the Pasch of Christ.

“Strengthened by the Risen Lord, Who defeated the prince of this world (cf. Jn 12: 31), we too can repeat with the faith of St. Paul: ‘I can do all this through Him Who gives me strength’ (Phil 4: 13). We can all win, win everything, but with the strength that comes to me from Jesus.”

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