Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, released a letter to monastic and contemplative communities on August 28, 2021, urging them to pray for the Synod of Bishops. Card. Grech focused on three words – listening, conversion, and communion – as closely tied to contemplative life and essential for the success of the synod. Comparing contemplative religious to their Old Testament forbearers, Card. Grech wrote:
You have the task within the community of carrying out the ministry of prayer, intercession and blessing. In this phase of the synodal process I do not ask you to pray in the place of other brothers and sisters, but to keep everyone’s attention on the spiritual dimension of the journey we are undertaking, to know how to discern the action of God in the life of the universal Church and each local Church. You are for everyone, as were the Levites and the priests in [Psalm 134], “ministers of prayer” who, through praise and intercession, remind everyone that without communion with God there can be no communion among ourselves.
Read his whole letter here, along with analysis from Vatican News, Catholic News Service via the Catholic Sun, and the post to the Synod’s own website, which is headlined as “Synodality: the fruit of prayer.”
The Synod’s website includes a series of videos from speakers discussing what religious life has to offer synodality, including Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, OP on listening in the Dominican tradition, Abbott Primate Gregory Polan, OSB on what the Rule of Benedict teaches about communal listening, as well as videos from the Poor Clares of Milan (in Italian), members of the Monastery of the Virgin Mary of the Coptic Catholics in Egypt (in Arabic), sisters from Grandchamp (in French), Benedictine sisters from Torreón (in Spanish), and Capuchin Poor Clare sisters from Immaculate Conception Monastery (in Thai).