Prayer Groups As Centers of Faith and Abodes of Love

The words of the Word 

Prayer groups need to be sources of enlightenment and mercy
Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them” ( Mt 18:20). I have spoken . . . about the importance of a careful and thorough reading of the Bible in order to understand God’s message to us. This, of course, requires a particular reflection, a knowledge of Christian doctrine, and even of the historical contexts in which the biblical passages occurred. This mission becomes much easier in a group, for which each participant can contribute with their own knowledge. Let us understand better with a brief history.

Illustrative photo: digitalskillet by Getty Images

A prayer group read the Old Testament and came across the passage that says, “He will sit as one who refines silver: he will refine and purify the sons of Levi, as gold and silver, that they may present to the Lord one an offering that is according to justice “(Malachi 3,3).

Most of the group understood the passage without much connection with the announcement of the Good News, but a gentleman who was there – a goldsmith by profession – was moved, took the floor before the group and began to explain: “To forge the silver and free it is necessary to put it in the fire, but one must always be attentive. As goldsmiths, it is necessary to observe the silver from very close, without neglecting it for a minute, because that is enough time for it to burn and get lost.

A lady of the group asked, “And when do you know when the silver is ready?” And the silversmith replied, “When I see my image in it.”

This group learned in a single verse from the Old Testament the desire of God for each one of us: that man be His image and likeness, free from sin (we talk about it in the first text of the series).

Note, however, the importance of the goldsmith in this prayer group. He knew that silver must be tried in the fire to get rid of the impurities, and that the smith recognizes it when he sees in it his own image. The group was able to learn that this is how God acts with us, that is what the Word wants to convey to us. God puts us to the test, but he does not stray or distract himself for a minute. We will be ready when we are His image and likeness.

Pope Francis, in a speech in St. Peter’s Square, addressed the action groups with these words: “I think of prayer groups, which St Pius defined as ‘nurseries of faith, abodes of love’; not only  centers of encounter to be with friends and to comfort each other a little, but the abodes of divine love. These are the prayer groups! In fact, prayer is a true mission, which carries the fire of love to the whole of humanity. Padre Pio said that prayer is a ‘force that moves the world’. Prayer is a force that moves the world! But do we believe that? And so. Test it! ”

May our prayer groups be sources of enlightenment and mercy, made up of humble readers of the Bible, who together can receive the true message of God to men. I ask you to be careful of listening only to the learned – and allow to take part in it. I have studied and studied the Doctrine of the Church for a long time, and for a time I was a catechist with a friend who had been in charge of this mission for more than 35 years.

Now, brothers, my study time, books, articles and writings did not allow me, for a moment, to feel superior to the testimony of that brother’s life. If I may have the analogy, we were Peter and Paul, life and study, example and doctrine, mercy and lesson. These are the pillars of the Holy Church, which are also the pillars of our prayer groups.

HOLY BIBLE. Translation of the CNBB, 18 ed. Editora Canção Nova.
FRANCISCO. Jubilee of the prayer groups of Padre Pio. 6 feb. 2016.

Luis Gustavo Conde

Lawyer with work in the area of ​​Family Law and Banking Law. Professor of technical courses. Catechist at the Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida in Ribeirão Preto / SP. Lecturer focused on Christian doctrine. Contact: Twitter: @luisguconde