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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

1 Timothy 2, 9-15

Similarly, women are to wear suitable clothes and to be dressed quietly and modestly, without braided hair or gold and jewellery or expensive clothes;

their adornment is to do the good works that are proper for women who claim to be religious.

During instruction, a woman should be quiet and respectful.

I give no permission for a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. A woman ought to be quiet,

because Adam was formed first and Eve afterwards,

and it was not Adam who was led astray but the woman who was led astray and fell into sin.

Nevertheless, she will be saved by child-bearing, provided she lives a sensible life and is constant in faith and love and holiness.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Paul knows that the way we pray is not indifferent. On the contrary, the attitude that the brothers and sisters have among themselves reveals the quality of their fellowship. We could say that the way of the common prayer decides the very way of living of the community. This is why he formulates certain principles on how to pray with "holy hands," with a heart sincere, humble and filial. In prayer the believers should be free of "anger or argument," in other words, live in peace with all as Christ said: "So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift" (Mt 5:23ff). Paul knows well that animosity between brothers and sisters is a sin which hinders the encounter with God and makes prayer difficult. He then directs an exhortation to women: their true adornment must not be exterior but interior, so that beauty may be in the heart and not just visibly apparent. Peter in his first letter, also writes: "Do not adorn yourselves outwardly by braiding your hair, and by wearing gold ornaments or fine clothing; rather, let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight." (1Pet 3:3 ff). Paul, moreover, prohibits women from coming forward, to teach and talk during the Liturgy. That is not the place for displays or for the protagonism of a few, but the moment in which listening should prevail and concord and fraternity. The apostle and the first community take the order to be maintained in prayer from the customs of the Old Testament, which view women as in submission to men. It is a concept tied to ancient traditions and social norms implemented at Paul’s time, but it does not undermine the fundamental equality or common dignity before God that admit all in holiness and in the task of communicating the Gospel to all. The order of creation (Gen 3:16) manifests the role of motherhood entrusted by God to the married woman, even if it is necessary, naturally, that she receive the Gospel in order to become a believer who lives in the light of the Lord.

Sunday Vigil