The Word Among Us

October 2016 Issue

A Blessing from Pope Francis

A Letter from the Publisher

By: Jeff Smith

A Blessing from Pope Francis: A Letter from the Publisher by Jeff Smith

As many of you know, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC, has published several books with us. But he is more than just an author; he is also a trusted friend and advisor. Every time I meet him, he tells me what a blessing The Word Among Us is in his own prayer life.

A few months ago, Cardinal Wuerl invited Patty Mitchell, the editor of our book division, and myself to join him at a papal audience in Rome. During our audience, I presented Pope Francis with copies of the Spanish- and English-language editions of our magazine. Cardinal Wuerl explained to the Holy Father that hundreds of thousands of Catholics use The Word Among Us to help them grow closer to the Lord.

With a bit of trepidation and in rather pathetic Spanish, I asked Pope Francis, “Holy Father, would you please bless all of the readers of The Word Among Us?” Immediately, he said, “Of course!” We bowed our heads, and Pope Francis prayed a blessing over all of you!

Lord, Hear Our Prayer. This issue of The Word Among Us focuses on the power of intercessory prayer—a fitting topic, considering the Holy Father’s prayers for us. Not only is Pope Francis praying for us, but Scripture tells us that Jesus himself is praying for us and blessing us right now. Because he knows exactly what each of us is going through and because he is the Son of God, his prayers are extraordinarily powerful.

It’s true: Jesus lives to intercede for us (Hebrews 7:25). But it’s also true that he is inviting us to join him in praying for other people. This month, as you read and meditate on the articles, be sure to bring your loved ones (and perhaps those with whom you struggle) to Jesus. We can all be persistent and expectant in our prayer for our families, our friends, and the forgotten. May the Lord work miracles as he hears our prayers!

Jeff Smith