Pope Francis Teaches .....

Prayer cultivates flowers of rebirth

God’s plan regarding humanity is for the good, even though we experience the presence of evil in our everyday lives.

In the first chapters of Genesis, the story of Adam and Eve, in doubting God’s intentions their hearts yield to the temptation of the evil one. However, the experience goes in the opposite direction: their eyes are opened and they discover that they are naked.

In Genesis chapter 4, is the story of Cain and Abel: Cain is envious of his brother and sees him as a rival. Evil enters within his heart and Cain does not succeed in controlling it, leading to his murder. Cain’s descendants [went on to] develop “arts and crafts”, violence develops as well. We too still experience the presence of wickedness in the world.

The peace-making power of prayer

When prayer is authentic, it liberates [us] from the instinct toward violence. Authentic prayer is a gaze directed toward God, so that He might return to take care of the human heart, because prayer cultivates flowerbeds of rebirth in places where human hatred was only capable of sowing a desert.

Prayer is a seed of life and of dialogue with God

I knew a man, “a head of government” of the past who proclaimed himself an atheist. He had no religious sense in his heart, but he remembered listening to his grandmother praying when he was a child. At a difficult time in his life, that memory came back to his heart and he began to pray with the words used by his grandmother. There, he found Jesus; prayer is a chain of life. Prayer is a seed of life and that is why it is so important to teach children to pray. It gives me pain to see children who do not know how to make the sign of the cross,  I urged parents to teach their children to pray: Then, perhaps, they can forget, take another path; but that one remains in their hearts, because it is a seed of life, the seed of dialogue with God. Prayer transforms a heart of stone into a heart of flesh; for this reason throughout history, righteous men and women of prayer – often misunderstood or marginalised – have ceaselessly offered up intercession for the world, invoking God’s power to bring about healing and growth. It is through these servants of God that His path and story are passed down to the ‘remnant’ of humanity”, who have asked that He transform their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh.

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Brentwood Diocesan Trust

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Rev. Martin O’Connor

The Presbytery

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Chadwell Heath



St Bede’s Catholic Church

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