Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The Church is a great school of prayer. Many of us learned how to whisper our first prayers on our parents’ or grandparents’ laps. We might, perhaps, cherish the memory of our mommy and daddy who taught us to say our prayers before going to bed. These moments of recollection are often those in which parents listen to some intimate secret and can give their advice inspired by the Gospel. Then, as they grow up, there are other encounters, with other witnesses and teachers of prayer (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2686-2687). This is good to remember.
The life of a parish and every Christian community is marked by liturgical moments and moments of community prayer. We become aware that the gift we received with simplicity in infancy is a great heritage, a rich inheritance and that the experience of prayer is worth deepening more and more (see ibid., 2688). The garment of faith is not starched, but develops with us; it is not rigid, it grows, even through moments of crisis and resurrection. Actually, there is no growth without moments of crisis because crises make you grow. Experiencing crisis is a necessary way to grow. And the breath of faith is prayer: we grow in faith inasmuch as we learn to pray. After certain passages in life, we become aware that without faith we could not have made it and that our strength was prayer – not only personal prayer, but also that of our brothers and sisters, and of the community that accompanied and supported us, of the people who know us, of the people we ask to pray for us.