Each month, Pope Benedict XVI announces his special prayer intentions—particular things that he wishes all Catholics to pray for that month. (When, for instance, we pray the rosary and say the prayers at the end for the intentions of the Holy Father, these are the intentions for which we're praying.)
Pope Benedict offers two intentions every month, one general, and one for a particular Catholic missionary activity. Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for February 2010 is "That by means of sincere search for the truth scholars and intellectuals may arrive at an understanding of the one true God." Christians have always believed that all truth is God's truth. We should not fear those who search for the truth but welcome them, because we know that, if they are sincere, their search for the truth will lead them to Christ. Strident atheists such as P.Z. Myers, Richard Dawkins, and Heather Mac Donald who claim that their attacks on Christianity are conducted in the name of the truth, but they are less interested in the truth than they are in elevating themselves. We should, however, continue to pray for unbelievers that they may come to understand the fullness of the truth.
The Holy Father's mission intention for February 2010 is "That the Church, aware of her own missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and to proclaim His Gospel to all peoples." This is, in some ways, the flip side of Pope Benedict's general prayer intention. By living the truth, we become witnesses of that truth to others. Yes, we all fall short of the message of the Gospel, but by striving to follow Christ, we bring His truth to others.
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