In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider the decision of the early Church to set aside seven men to provide for the practical demands of charity (cf. Acts 6:1-4). This decision, made after prayer and discernment, provided for the needs of the poor while freeing the Apostles to devote themselves primarily to the word of God.
It is significant that the Apostles acknowledge the importance of both prayer and works of charity, yet clearly give priority to prayer and the proclamation of the Gospel. In every age the saints have stressed the deep vital unity between contemplation and activity.
Prayer, nourished by faith and enlightened by God’s word, enables us to see things in a new way and to respond to new situations with the wisdom and insight bestowed by the Holy Spirit. In our own daily lives and decisions, may we always draw fresh spiritual breath from the two lungs of prayer and the word of God; in this way, we will respond to every challenge and situation with wisdom, understanding and fidelity to God’s will.
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Finland, Sweden, Nigeria, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States of America. Upon you and your families I cordially invoke the joy and peace of the Risen Lord. Thank you!