Looking outward12 May 2020
There is great power in many voices united in prayer. Such unity is a window open to the world.
In his Lenten message (2015) Pope Francis tells us: ‘As individuals too, we are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness? First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer!’
With the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (PWPN) – Apostleship of Prayer – we enter into a global network of missions of brothers and sisters who pray and mobilise themselves each month to the challenges that confront humanity and the mission of the Church.
These challenges are instructions for our personal lives and the mission of the Church that the Pope, from his vantage point of view, confides to us in his monthly Intention (see www.pray.com.au/prayer-intentions/ for more on the Pope’s monthly intention).
It is a simple way of ‘feeling with the Church’ [Spiritual Exercises, no 352-370), united to the Heart of Jesus. It is a window open to the world.
The prayer intentions of the Holy Father open our heart to the most urgent needs of humanity and of the Church, and lead us to commit our lives for the justice of the Kingdom. We live out this mission for the challenges that confront humanity with all those who desire more fraternity, justice and peace in the world, including those who belong to other religious traditions.
May this ‘Way of the Heart’ make ours the compassion of Jesus and awaken in us the desire to be ever more available to the service of his mission for the challenges that confront humanity and the mission of the Church.
Pope Francis invites us to participate in his prayer network: ‘I would also like to invite you to join in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, which spreads, also through social networks, the prayer intentions I propose for the Church each month. In this way, the Apostleship of Prayer moves forward and communion grows’ (Angelus for 8 January, 2017).
We confide this prayer network to Our Lady, Mary, the star of the new evangelisation, who, moved by the Holy Spirit, was always available to her son and the mission of the Church.
Click To Pray (clicktopray.org), to pray with Jesus in the morning, with Jesus during the day, with Jesus at night. Prayer is a source of true fruitfulness for the mission of the Church.
Fr. Frédéric Fornos SJ, International Director of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and EYM [Eucharistic Youth Movement]
This article first appeared in Madonna magazine Winter 2020 issue.
Image: As Italy extends its nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19, its citizens are living more of their lives on their balconies and in windows. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)