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Pope begins series of weekly audience talks on prayer

Catholic World News - May 04, 2011

At his weekly public audience on May 4, Pope Benedict XVI launched a new series of talks, on the topic of prayer.

The Pope, who recently concluded a series of weekly talks on the most influential thinkers of the Catholic tradition, said that he would now conduct a "school of prayer" at his Wednesday audiences. He told the 40,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square that "drawing near to Sacred Scripture, the great tradition of the Church Fathers, the masters of spirituality, and the liturgy, we will seek to learn how to live even more intensely our relationship with the Lord."

In his opening talk of the series, the Pope observe that the urge to pray is deeply engrained in the human spirit, and can be seen even in the ancient Greek philosophers and playwrights. For Christians, however, prayer has a different meaning, reflecting the fact that through faith, we "discover ourselves capable of entering into communion with God." The Pope remarked that Christian prayer is "an art in which Christ, the Son of God, is our supreme teacher."

Learning to pray is a livelong process, the Pope told his audience. While encouraging some people to begin praying for the first time, he said, the Church always encourages others to deeper prayer: "Even those who are very advanced in their spiritual lives always feel the need to attend the school of Jesus in order to learn how to truly pray."

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