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‘Perseverance in love’: Pope Francis continues weekly catechesis on prayer

June 09, 2021

Pope Francis devoted his Wednesday general audience on June 9 to loving perseverance in prayer.

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“Reflecting on Saint Paul’s encouragement to pray unceasingly (cf. 1 Thess 5:17), the Church’s spiritual writers have questioned how it is possible to remain in a constant state of prayer,” in the words of the Vatican’s summary of the Pope’s remarks. “The Russian ascetic tradition developed the prayer of the heart, based on repeating the words, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner’, until they become like the air we breathe.” The summary continued:

The Greek monk Evagrius compared prayer to a flame burning perpetually in our hearts even as we carry out our daily tasks. Prayer thus becomes the backdrop against which every action of our lives finds its deepest meaning. If God can find time for each of us, surely we can find time for him! The monastic tradition teaches the spiritual fruitfulness of balancing prayer and work. By maintaining that balance in our own lives, we too can grow in our union with God and keep the fire of divine love daily burning in our hearts.

The June 9 audience was the 36th catechesis in the series of Wednesday general audiences on prayer. The series began in May 2020 (2020 audiences, 2021 audiences).

 


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