Pope’s October prayer intention: A Church that walks together

By Francesca Merlo, 2 October 2023


Pope Francis releases his prayer intention for the month of October, in which he asks that the Church be one of synodality, which means walking together, along the same road.

As is customary at the beginning of every month, Pope Francis has released his prayer intention for the month of October: “A Church that is open to everyone”.

In The Pope Video, produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, the Holy Father begins by asking “What does it mean ‘to synod’?”, before answering himself, that it means walking together: syn-od. He explains that in Greek, the word synod means to walk together, and to walk on the same road.

This, continued the Pope, “is what God expects of the Church of the third millennium – that it regain its awareness of being a people on the road and of having to travel together”.

He adds that a Church with this synodal style is one that listens, aware that listening is more than just hearing.

“It means listening to each other in our diversity and opening doors to those outside the Church. It’s not about gathering opinions, nor holding a parliament. The synod isn’t a survey; it’s about listening to the protagonist, the Holy Spirit. It’s about praying. Without prayer, there will be no Synod”, says the Pope.

His two-minute-long video, which shows images of people walking, praying and attending classes together, ends with the Holy Father asking that we “take advantage of this opportunity to be a Church of closeness, which is God’s style –closeness”, as well as asking that we “give thanks to all the people of God who, with their attentive listening, are walking the synodal way”.

Finally, the Pope says, “let us pray that the Church, ever faithful to the Gospel and courageous in preaching it, may live in an increasing atmosphere of synodality and be a community of solidarity, fraternity, and welcome”.

Image: Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

The full text of the Pope’s prayer intention is below:

Mission is at the heart of the Church. And even more when a Church is in Synod. This synodal dynamic alone carries its missionary vocation forward – that is, her response to Jesus’ mandate to proclaim the Gospel.
I would like to recall that nothing ends here. Rather, we are continuing an ecclesial journey here.
This is a journey we will travel, like the disciples of Emmaus, listening to the Lord who always comes to meet us.
He is the Lord of surprises.
Through prayer and discernment, the Holy Spirit helps us carry out the “apostolate of the ear,” that is, listening with God’s ears in order to speak with the word of God.
And thus, we draw near to the heart of Christ. Our mission and the voice that draws us to him spring from him.
This voice reveals to us that the heart of mission is to reach out to everyone, to seek everyone, to welcome everyone, to involve everyone, without excluding anyone.
Let us pray for the Church, that she may adopt listening and dialogue as a style of life at every level, allowing herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit towards the world’s peripheries.

With thanks to Vatican News and Francesca Merlo, where this article originally appeared.


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