‘Prayer Precedes and Leads to Authentic Evangelization’ Says Pope

Pope Tells Bishops of Namibia, Lesotho How Church Shows Path Toward Our Deepest Happiness

The way to evangelize the people and reach our deepest happiness begins with prayer. Pope Francis made this observation while addressing the bishops of Namibia and Lesotho this morning in the Vatican on the occasion of their ad limina visit, telling them, “Prayer precedes and leads to authentic evangelization.”

“As you know from experience, when the Church summons all Christians to constantly take up anew the task of evangelizing the world,” he told the bishops, “she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfillment; that is, she is showing us the path to our deepest happiness.”

In his remarks, the Pope reflected on all the good the Church does in their nations, but also reflected the harsh realities they and their people face, saying he is sure this “weighs heavily on their hearts.”

“Strengthen them in love to overcome selfishness in private or public life,” Francis said. “Be generous in bringing them the tenderness of Christ where threats to human life occur, from the womb to old age – and I think particularly of those suffering with HIV and AIDS.”

The Pontiff also reflected on the apparent decrease in vocations to the priesthood and to religious life and how countering this requires speaking openly about the fulfilling and joyful experience of offering one’s life to Christ.

“From healthy families will come numerous priestly vocations,” he observed. “The children of such families will more readily be open to a life of unconditional service to the family of the Church.”

“On returning home may you be like the tree planted by streams of water, yielding fruit in due season, whose leaves do not wither,” Francis said, praying, “May you prosper in all that you do.”

Before concluding with his blessing and entrusting the bishops to Mary’s care, the Holy Father prayed, “May your visit here lead you to bring Christ’s healing mercy ever more abundantly to all for whom you have care.”

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On ZENIT’s web page:

Full Text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-bishops-of-namibia-and-lesotho

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