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The Seven Deacons

Пятидесятница. Около 1497. Собор Успения Богор...

Пятидесятница. Около 1497. Собор Успения Богородицы, Кирилло-Белозерский монастырь (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Sorry I have missed the last several weeks.  In that time, Benedict took his historic Apostolic Journey to Mexico and Cuba, which he reflected on during Holy Week’s general audience.  During Easter week, as is customary, he took another break from the current series and dedicated his catechesis to the transforming power of the Resurrection on the disciples.

Last week, Benedict returned to the theme of Christian Prayer and spoke of the “Little Pentecost” of Acts 4.

This week, he reflects on the early Church’s discernment of the need for the seven deacons and uses it as an opportunity to reflect on the meaning that prayer brings to our daily activities.  Here is the excerpt from today’s audience:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our catechesis on Christian prayer, we now consider the decision of the early Church to set aside seven men to provide for the practical demands of charity (cf. Acts 6:1-4). This decision, made after prayer and discernment, provided for the needs of the poor while freeing the Apostles to devote themselves primarily to the word of God. It is significant that the Apostles acknowledge the importance of both prayer and works of charity, yet clearly give priority to prayer and the proclamation of the Gospel. In every age the saints have stressed the deep vital unity between contemplation and activity. Prayer, nourished by faith and enlightened by God’s word, enables us to see things in a new way and to respond to new situations with the wisdom and insight bestowed by the Holy Spirit. In our own daily lives and decisions, may we always draw fresh spiritual breath from the two lungs of prayer and the word of God; in this way, we will respond to every challenge and situation with wisdom, understanding and fidelity to God’s will.

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