After wrapping up the section on the Prayer of Jesus last week, our Holy Father begins today a new cycle on Prayer in the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of St. Paul. First up is a reflection on the Blessed Mother’s time of prayer with the Apostles in the Upper Room in the nine days between Jesus’ Ascension and the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Here’s the excerpt he gave in English (with the full text available on Zenit later today and on the Vatican website next week):
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our continuing catechesis on Christian prayer, we now begin a new chapter on prayer in the Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of Saint Paul. Today I wish to speak of the figure of Mary, who with the Apostles in the Upper Room prayerfully awaits the gift of the Holy Spirit. In all the events of her life, from the Annunciation through the Cross to Pentecost, Mary is presented by Saint Luke as a woman of recollected prayer and meditation on the mystery of God’s saving plan in Christ. In the Upper Room, we see Mary’s privileged place in the Church, of which she is the “exemplar and outstanding model in faith and charity” (Lumen Gentium, 53). As Mother of God and Mother of the Church, Mary prays in and with the Church at every decisive moment of salvation history. Let us entrust to her every moment of our own lives, and let her teach us the need for prayer, so that in loving union with her Son we may implore the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the spread of the Gospel to all the ends of the earth.