Pope Reminds Bishops of the Duty of Prayer

Source: FSSPX News


The pope addressed these bishops who had come from all over the world and told them: “I would like to reflect with you precisely on the apostolic and pastoral character of the Bishop’s prayer.” “Through deep and personal prayer, the Bishop, like the faithful, but to a greater extent, is called to grow in a filial spirit towards God, learning from Jesus Himself the intimacy, trust and fidelity, which were Jesus’ own attitudes in his relationship with the Father.”

“In a Bishop’s ministry today the organizational aspects are demanding, the commitments many and the needs always abundant, but the first place in the life of a successor of the Apostles must be reserved for God. It is in this way especially, that we will help our faithful. St. Gregory the Great recommended in his "Pastoral Rule" that the Pastor should in a unique way be able to rise above all the others through prayer and contemplation.” “It is precisely through prayer that the Pastor becomes sensitive to the needs of others and merciful to all.” “The Pastor, rooted in contemplation is able to regard the needs of others which through prayer become his own. Prayer teaches love and opens the heart to pastoral charity in order to welcome all who turn to their Bishop.”

“Dear Confreres, your priests must have a special place in your prayers so that they may always persevere in their vocation and be faithful to the priestly mission entrusted to them.

It is particularly edifying for every priest to know that the Bishop, from whom he has received the gift of the priesthood or who in any case is his father and friend, is close to him in prayer and affection and always ready to receive him, listen to him and encourage him.

Likewise, the entreaty for new vocations must never be absent from the Bishop’s prayers. They must be insistently implored from God so that he may call ‘those whom he desires for the sacred ministry’.”

In the cities where you live and work, often chaotic and noisy, where man hurries on and loses himself, where people live as though God did not exist, may you be able to create places and opportunities for prayer, where in silence, in listening to God through lectio divina, in personal and communal prayer, man may encounter God and have a living experience of Jesus Christ who reveals the authentic Face of the Father.

Never tire of ensuring that parishes and shrines, places of education and of suffering, but also families, become places of communion with the Lord. I would especially like to urge you to make the cathedral an exemplary house of prayer, particularly liturgical prayer, where the diocesan community, reunited with its Bishop, can praise and thank God for the work of salvation and intercede for all people.

“In brief, beloved Bishops, be men of prayer! […] In addressing God, for you yourselves and for your faithful, may you have the trust of children, the daring of a friend and the perseverance of Abraham who was tireless in intercession: like Moses, raise your hands to Heaven, while your faithful fight the good fight of faith; like Mary, praise God every day for the salvation that he brings about in the Church and the world, convinced that nothing will be impossible to God.” (Source: vatican.va)