In a message occasioned by the national meeting of the Romanian Orthodox Christian Students Association (A.S.C.O.R.), His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania emphasised the role of prayer in the lives of young people.
The members of the A.S.C.O.R. National Council gathered at Saint Panteleimon Settlement in Lacu Sarat, Braila County, on May 12-15, 2022.
“All the initiatives and pure thoughts of young people are the fruits of their prayers and those who pray for them: priests, parents, godly friends. In word and deed, the young confessors of the faith, lovers of prayer and action, are missionaries of the Church in today’s society,” Patriarch Daniel noted.
“The Church is called to pay special attention to young people, defending their innocence, sincerity, courage, desire for renewal, and all the values of this age blessed by God, for cultivating human dignity and a healthy life, and for seeking salvation or eternal life,” the Patriarch of Romania highlighted in his message entitled “The joy of prayer enlightens good deeds.”
The joy of prayer enlightens good deeds: full text
The meeting of the National Council of the Romanian Orthodox Christian Students Association (A.S.C.O.R.), organised in the context of the year 2022 declared by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church as a Solemn Year of prayer in the Church’s life and Christian’s life, is an important moment to analyse and deepen the spiritual, educational, cultural and social-philanthropic projects, which you carry out throughout the country.
In all these activities, the joy youth have by meeting with Christ’s love, both in prayer and action, in cooperation to bring joy to people, is essential.
Since the risen Christ is “the everlasting joy,” the Apostle to the Gentiles exhorts us, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4: 4).
Prayer is the foundation of man’s life and spiritual growth; it is salvific and sanctifying, for it fills us with the presence of the love of the All-compassionate God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:13).
Prayer, as the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in the pious man, brings comfort, peace, and joy; it unites us with the Most Holy Trinity, the source of joy and eternal life, but also with the Church of Christ of all times and places.
Starting from Saint Paul’s exhortation: “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and through the spiritual practice of the Holy Fathers, the prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,” also known as “the prayer of the mind” or “the prayer of the heart”, has become the best way to enlighten the soul and sanctify the Christian’s life.
Therefore, prayer is a source of joy and spiritual strength, a source of peace and love for God and our neighbours. It is the spiritual breath of the soul.
The young Orthodox Christian will pray as much as possible because prayer brings us much holy love in our hearts, unites us with the Merciful God, and helps us see a brother in every person and a gift from God in every beauty of creation.
Prayer helps us face the hardships of life and taste even from this world the light and joy of the Resurrection and eternal life.
Nothing can replace prayer, and no activity is more valuable than prayer, for prayer inspires us to utter a kind word and the power to perform a good deed.
All the initiatives and pure thoughts of young people are the fruits of their prayers and those who pray for them: priests, parents, and godly friends.
In word and deed, the young confessors of the faith, lovers of prayer and action, are missionaries of the Church in today’s society.
The Church is called to pay special attention to young people, defending their innocence, sincerity, courage, desire for renewal, and all the values of this age blessed by God to cultivate human dignity and healthy life and seek salvation or eternal life.
We are convinced that the participants in the A.S.C.O.R. National Council will express their joy in feeling Christ’s love for them and their delight in understanding that the Family, the Church, and the School are a blessing for their formation in life.
Congratulations to His Eminence Archbishop Casian of Lower Danube for his support in organising this meeting and for all the special activities he carries out for the harmonious development of Orthodox youth.
We pray to God to help you all, in this Solemn Year of prayer in the Church’s life and the Christian’s life, to progress in the knowledge of prayer as a state of meeting and conversation between man and God, as a source of sanctification of the Christian life in the Church and the family, but also as a provision of the joy in the Kingdom of the love of the Most Holy Trinity!
With paternal blessings and much appreciation,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church