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Pope Francis emphasizes the role of prayer in advancing the Church


In his general audience Pope Francis urged the faithful to remember those who “first taught us to pray,” and “planted a seed within us that matures through our experience of the Christian life.”

He added that the lives of Christians are not exempt from challenges and moments of crisis, and that in life's difficult moments “we come to realize the importance of prayer in strengthening our faith and hope.”

That's why in a moment where the world faces great challenges the Pope stresses that “to pray and to teach others to pray, then, is essential for the Church’s mission of proclaiming the Gospel.”

SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer we now consider the Church herself as a great school of prayer. Our parents, who first taught us to pray, planted within us a seed that matures through our experience of the Christian life.

Through the example of other men and women of faith, through our sharing in the life of our parishes and above all through the sacred liturgy, we not only develop our prayer life as individuals, but gradually come to appreciate the richness of the Church’s patrimony of prayer and spirituality. Particularly at difficult moments in life, we come to realize the importance of prayer in strengthening our faith and hope.

History shows the importance of communities of prayer – monasteries and religious congregations – for the spiritual renewal of the Church and of society as a whole.

Prayer remains the wellspring of the Church’s life and the true source of her strength in bearing witness to the risen Lord. For this reason, Jesus insists on the need of his disciples to pray tirelessly and without ceasing.

To pray and to teach others to pray, then, is essential for the Church’s mission of proclaiming the Gospel, serving Christ in our brothers and sisters, and drawing all people into the unity of his kingdom.

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!