the good of others: it is the prayer of interces-
sion. Let us peer for a moment into the heart of
Saint Paul, to see what his prayer was like. It was
full of people: “…I constantly pray with you in
every one of my prayers for all of you… because
I hold you in my heart” (
1:4, 7). Here we see
that intercessory prayer does not divert us from
true contemplation, since authentic contempla-
tion always has a place for others.
282. This attitude becomes a prayer of grati-
tude to God for others. “First, I thank my God
through Jesus Christ for all of you” (
1:8). It
is constant thankfulness: “I give thanks to God
always for you because of the grace of God
which was given you in Christ Jesus” (
1 Cor
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you”
1:3). Far from being suspicious, negative
and despairing, it is a spiritual gaze born of deep
faith which acknowledges what God is doing in
the lives of others. At the same time, it is the
gratitude which flows from a heart attentive to
others. When evangelizers rise from prayer, their
hearts are more open; freed of self-absorption,
they are desirous of doing good and sharing
their lives with others.
283. The great men and women of God were
great intercessors. Intercession is like a “leaven”
in the heart of the Trinity. It is a way of pen-
etrating the Father’s heart and discovering new
dimensions which can shed light on concrete sit-
uations and change them. We can say that God’s
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