One of the features of Click to Pray is that it is the official app of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. All the people who pray with the Pope for his monthly intentions form a prayer network and collaborate together in the mission of compassion for the world. Jesus tells his disciples that “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am among them” ( Mt 18:20). Thus, when we pray with this app, anywhere in the world, Jesus is present among us.
For the Church of the first centuries, prayer was always an ecclesiastical event. St. Ignatius of Antioch says, in the 1st century, that “if the prayer of one or two has great strength, how much more so does that of the Bishop and of the entire Church.” In the letter he writes to the Church of Rome, he recalls that the Bishop of Rome – that is, the Pope – is the one who “presides over charity in observance of the law of Christ.” Exercising a kind of primacy in love, with regard to the unity of the Catholic Church, when we pray for the Pope’s intentions we form a universal choir of voices that propagates love and makes us follow the path of the Heart of Jesus.
St. Basil of Caesarea, in the 4th century, leaves in his monastic rule a note about the importance of prayer as we understand it today in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network: even when working, absent from the place where the community meets or outside the monastery, when the monk prays at different times of the day, he is always in communion with his brothers in the community. It means that even if we are physically alone, we are united together in God. St. John Chrysostom also insists on the community dimension of prayer. Along with the value of individual prayer, he emphasizes that the body of the Church together in prayer raises its supplications to the presence of God more effectively and strengthens its dimension of compassion.
We can then say that praying for the Pope’s monthly prayer intention and the morning, afternoon and evening prayers of Click to Pray, even prayed when we are alone or in a group, are always part of the Church’s community prayer and create a worldwide network of prayer.
Fr. Antonio Sant’Ana, SJ
(Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – Portugal)