Prayer in preparation for the Synod
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
This Friday I leave Scotland for the Synod of Bishops which will last for one month. Cardinal Grech, appointed by Pope Francis to oversee the Synod, has appealed for your prayers, which is one but a crucial way of ensuring your involvement.
Cardinal Grech insists that there can be no authentic Synod without prayer. The Synod is not a Parliament but a spiritual experience where the Will of God is sought.
Therefore, I invite you to participate in the live-streamed Ecumenical Prayer Vigil (www.together2023.net) this coming Saturday, 30 September, on the eve of the Synod. It will be live-streamed from 3.30pm on Vatican News channels (vaticannews.va).
Immediately afterwards all the Synod participants will begin a three day Retreat.
Please keep the Synod in your daily prayers. Thank you.
Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the General Secretariat of the Synod, has written a letter to bishops worldwide, emphasising the importance of prayer in preparation for the Synod, set to begin in the Vatican on 4 October.
In his letter Cardinal Grech emphasised that the Synod is primarily “an event of prayer and listening that involves not only the members of the Synodal Assembly but every baptized person and every particular Church.”
He discussed four facets of prayer in the context of the Synod. The first is listening.
Cardinal Grech highlighted that prayer begins with “listening to the Word of God and the Spirit,” as “the voice of the Spirit is the sine qua non for ecclesial discernment.”
Speaking then about adoration, Cardinal Grech emphasized the importance of “adoring silence in awe for what God is saying to his Church and for what the Spirit arouses in the Church today.”
With regards to intercession, the Cardinal called for intercessory prayer, explaining that it is “not about bending God’s will to ours,” but rather “asking the Lord to enlighten our hearts with the power of His life-giving Spirit so that we might discern and do His will.”
Finally, Cardinal Grech addressed thanksgiving, encouraging gratitude, saying, “The prayer of thanksgiving is a true ‘therapy’ that moves us from our withdrawal into ourselves to the openness that is able to discover all that God continues to work in His Church.”
The importance of prayer
Cardinal Grech invited everyone to place prayer at the centre of the Synodal Assembly on 1 October, the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time, incorporating it into homilies, universal prayers, and the final blessing during Eucharistic celebrations.
In closing, he expressed gratitude for bishops’ leadership in the synodal journey and assured them of his prayers for their ministry, invoking the Spirit’s guidance and the joy found in God’s Word.
Cardinal Grech’s appeal is part of a broader effort to highlight the spiritual nature of the synod assembly and engage the entire people of God in prayer.