How service to the poor can transform us

Dec 10, 2018 | Guest Author

In the eighth step of the “Way of the Heart,” members of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network are “sent out to the margins of human life in different ways, together with his Son. We are sent to the places where men and women are suffering injustice, to help heal and support the brokenhearted.” This is something especially close to Pope Francis’ heart.

Pope Francis knows what the poor suffer and he recognizes that their marginalization and exclusion is a product of our time and lifestyle. He is inviting us to take account of the transformative power of the Gospel for the poor of our time, if we let it.

Pope Francis has also reminded us of the hidden power of the poor to transform us. The poor and vulnerable people have a kind of a secret power, which may be secret even from themselves. They can change us, when we listen deeply to them.  Only then can we be their voice.

The poor are our teachers. When we listen to the poor we hear their strength, their pain, their wisdom and learn the potential that is there for change. Listening to the poor frees us from being locked into our prejudices. This is the gift of the poor and the vulnerable to us. When we listen to the poor with an open heart we discover that the poor are our brothers and sisters in humanity and through our relationship with them we can be transformed.

– Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy
Director of Focus, Ireland


The Pope’s Official Prayer Network

We pray that religious women and men, and seminarians grow in their own vocations through their human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation, leading them to be credible witnesses to the Gospel.