Friday, April 27, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI - Prayer and Works of Charity


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."

Operatio Sequitur Esse or being determines action. If the center of your being is driven by and set aflame by the divine life, then your actions will reflect the divine life. God is love, the gift of His grace is the actual conveyance of divine love to the center of your being. When you receive it with faith,  you are moved to pray more to learn more and to respond in a manner which most fully conveys what you have taken into yourself. Prayer is the conversation a conversation of love in which we encounter the living God. The Eucharist is the physical consummation of that relationship. And the combination of those two things bring about a change in the depths of our heart which enable us to love others more purely. It is our purpose for existence. We are called to respond to the love that God gives us (Grace) so, that we might accomplish the tasks that the Father wills for us, first and foremost, loving obedience to Him, and then return through a growth in love to Him upon death. It is extremely important that we do not pervert the way in which works of charity are ordered in our lives. We can't actually do meritorious works of charity until we receive the free gift of God's love (Grace). There is a proper order. Works apart from the reception and maintenance of God's grace are dead.

Pray for me

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