PASTORAL LETTER 2010
nurtured in Joseph Vaz the love for prayer, right from his childhood. Reading the life of saints, spending time in personal prayer, encouraging others to pray, relating himself to God through prayer in his daily goings-on was his lifestyle.3
Jesus held to God through prayer (Lk 11:1); He taught His disciples to pray (Lk 11:2-4); by teaching that prayer was the worship of the heart, rather than the heaping of empty words (Mt 6:7), He unfolded the real meaning of prayer. The Church teaches that every Christian family revitalizes itself through the meaningful celebration of Sacraments and through prayer.4 Family prayer has the special power to make Christ present in our homes (Mt 18:19-20). Our family prayer is an occasion to surrender our joys and sorrows, births and deaths, thanksgivings and petitions into the hands of God. Parents then have a special responsibility to make their children aware of the importance of prayer.5 We find Pope Paul VI appealing to parents to build the Church with prayer.6
The family prayer establishes a covenant relationship between God and men.7 An atmosphere of prayer is the strength of family life. Prayer makes unity grow;8 it nurses and nurtures vocations. Without prayer, the members of a family can easily fall prey to the worldly seductions; where there is no prayer, hopelessness and various other evils creep in. Let us, therefore, create time for family prayer and add meaning to it by the light of God’s Word; let us fill our children’s hearts with the love of God, by teaching them to pray.
3 Cf. Cosme J. Costa, Life and Achievements of Bl. Joseph Vaz, Pilar (2004), p.12.
4 Cf. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio (1981), no. 55.
5 Cf. Ibid., nos. 59-60.
6 Cf. General Audience Address of Pope Paul VI in Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, XIV (1976), 640.
7 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), no. 2564.
8 Cf. Statement of the Diocesan Synod (SDS), 2002, no. 58.
You shall be perfect and without blemish with the Lord your God.