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Without prayer, activism is sterile, Pope cautions

April 25, 2012

Unless our spiritual lives are nourished by daily prayer, “we risk suffocating in the midst of a thousand everyday things,” Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience on April 25. The Holy Father told the crowd of about 20,000 people in St. Peter’s Square: “Prayer is the breath of the soul and of life.”

In the absence of regular prayer, the Pope said, “our activities become empty, they lose all profundity and are reduced to mere activism--which, in the final analysis, leaves us unsatisfied.”

The Pontiff pointed to the example set by the first apostles, when they realized that they needed help with their work, and appointed deacons to handle the charitable activities of the Christian community. Before appointing and ordaining those deacons, he noted, the apostles first prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thus they provided a lesson for the Christians who followed them in future generations, the Pope explained:

If we do not have the capacity to pause and listen to the Lord, to enter into dialogue with Him, we risk becoming ineffectually agitated by problems, difficulties and needs, even those of an ecclesial and pastoral nature.


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