“Without prayer, we cannot be disciples of Jesus. Without prayer, we cannot be Christians”: prayer “is the breath, the lung of Christian life”. Pope Francis made these off-the-cuff remarks during his general audience catechesis today, dedicated to Pentecost, which – according to the Prefecture of the Papal Household – was attended by some 13,000 people. “Fifty days after Easter, in that Upper Room which is now their home and where the presence of Mary, the Mother of the Lord, is a factor of cohesion, the Apostles experience an event that exceeds their expectations”, Pope Francis began: “As they pray together, they are surprised by the irruption of God”. “It is an irruption that cannot tolerate closed spaces”, Pope Francis noted: “the doors are flung wide open by a strong wind which reminds us of the ruah, the primordial breath, and which fulfils the promise of the ‘power’ made by the Risen One before His farewell”. “Suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were”, the Acts of the Apostles reads. “To the wind is then added the fire which reminds us of the burning bush and the giving of the ten commandments on Mount Sinai”. “In the biblical tradition, fire accompanies the manifestation of God”, Pope Francis recalled: “In the fire, God gives His living and powerful Word which opens to the future; the fire evokes His work of warming, illuminating and testing the hearts, His care in testing the resistance of human works, and in purifying and reviving them”. “While on Mount Sinai we hear the voice of God, in Jerusalem, on the feast of Pentecost, it is Peter who speaks, the rock on which Christ chose to build His Church”, the Pope said: “His weak word, even capable of denying the Lord, when filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit, gains strength and becomes capable of piercing the hearts and moving to conversion. Indeed, God chooses what is weak in the world to confuse the strong”.