A prayer for Lent
In the Season of Lent, let us…
Fast from judgment and feast on compassion,
Fast from greed and feast on sharing,
Fast from scarcity and feast on abundance,
Fast from fear and feast on peace,
Fast from lies and feast on truth,
Fast from gossip and feast on praise,
Fast from evil and feast on kindness,
Fast from discontent and feast on engagement,
Fast from discouragement and feast on hope,
and Fast from hatred and feast on love.
In response to last week’s gospel message of Jesus praying:
Jesus often went off to a lonely place to pray.
Yet the same Jesus who prayed in lonely places said,
‘When you pray, go into your room,
and pray to your Father in secret.’
This means that the lonely place
is not necessarily a place far away,
or that by ‘room’ he means four walls
that separate us physically from others.
The room is the room of our innermost heart.
This room is with us at all times.
We should make it a place to which we can go
to find rest and spiritual recovery
when the world is too much with us.
Then we will discover that the inner room
is not empty after all, but is occupied
by the God of love who dwells in us all.
Flor McCarthy S.D.B
Your children are not your children.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you,
yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
Kahil Gibran – poet and philospher
Grant O Lord, that none may love you less this day because of me;
That never a word of act of mine may turn one soul from you,
And with your grace I implore, that may souls this day,
Because of me, may love you more.
Dear child of God
when clouds descend,
when depression wraps its
heavy cloak about your soul,
when God seems distant and
you, are so alone-
stretch out a finger of faith, for you may
be closer than you’ve ever been….
He may be hiding you in the
shadow of his wing,
Beneath God’s wing
deep shadow blocks our sight
and bids us hear our
darkest feelings whisper
their pain, loss, and unmet needs
into the sufficiency of God’s love.
Susan Lenzkes 2017
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.
WHAT THEN IS CHRISTIANITY?
In the home it is kindness;
In business it is honesty;
In society it is courtesy;
In work it is fairness;
Toward the unfortunate it is sympathy;
Toward the weak it is help;
Toward the wicked it is resistance;
Toward the strong it is trust;
Toward the penitent it is forgiveness;
Toward the successful it is congratulation;
And toward God it is reverence and obedience.
St Columban’s Mission Society
A FAMILY PRAYER
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we humbly invoke you as our most loving and powerful Protectors.
To you we have recourse in all our wants, in all our trails and afflictions; and we implore you to take us,
and all Christian families, under your special protection.
May you be ever honoured and loved, blessed and praised, by us and by all mankind.
FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT 2017
What is a blessing but a rain of grace
falling generously into the lives of those in need;
and who among us is without need?
May the Spirit touch your spirit
May this day be a pathway strewn with blessings.
May your work this day be your love may visible.
May you breathe upon the wounds of those with whom you work.
May you open yourself to God’s breathing.
May you honour the flame of love that burns inside you.
May your voice this day be a voice of encouragement.
May your life be an answer to someone’s prayer.
May you own a grateful heart.
May you have enough joy to give you hoe,
enough pain to make you wise.
May there be no room in your heart for hatred.
May you be free from violent thoughts.
When you look into the window of your soul
may you see the face of God.
May the lamp of your life shine upon all you meet this day.
Adapted from Macrina Wiederehr, Seven Sacred Pauses
PRAYER FOR UNITY
Lord Jesus Christ, at Your Last Supper You prayed to the Father that all should be one.
Send your Holy Spirit upon all who bear Your name and seek to serve You.
Strengthen our faith in You and make us love one another in humility.
May we who have been reborn in one baptism all be united in one faith under one Shepherd.
Lord, grant us a strong and courageous faith,
a faith that burns brightly even in times of darkness,
a faith that doesn’t falter even when there are no miracles
or happy endings,
a Good Friday faith that trusts in the dawn of Easter,
a faith that is rooted in your love for us
and that expresses itself in love for others.
The bridegroom said to the foolish bridesmaids,
‘I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.’
How can we ensure that the Lord will recognise us
when we arrive at the door of the heavenly kingdom?
By keeping the lamp of love burning brightly.
And how do we do this?
Through a continuous input of small drops of oil.
What do these drops of oil consist of?
The small things of daily life,
the little deeds of kindness and of service.
Lord, open our hearts when they are closed,
soften them when they are hard,
warm them when they are cold,
fill them when they are empty,
heal them when they are wounded,
and mend them when they are broken,
so that we, your disciples, may bear the fruits of love.
Flor McCarthy SDB
Lord, God, what a mistake it is when we allow ourselves to be slaves
chained to schedules of our own making. Show us ways to break
loose from that and the courage to put our world together in the way
You want it to be.
In Jesus’ name.
God is continually calling us
to a deeper and more authentic life here on earth,
and to eternal life in the hereafter.
God’s call comes to us,
not so much as a voice in our ears,
as a tug at our hearts.
There is something missing in everybody’s life.
However, a sense of something missing
is not a curse but a blessing.
It is God’s way of inviting us to his banquet.
Flor McCarthy SDB
God our Father, bless our Parish of the Sacred Heart so that we may love you more.
Help our parents to give good example to their children and our youth to grow in strength as good Christians.
Encircle our families with your loving care.
To the sick grant health, to the aged bring serenity and to those in sorrow, joy.
May each parishioner grow stronger in faith And may our love for one another become deeper in our daily living.
We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.
I pray that you may be the source of strength in my body,
courage in my spirit and patience in my pain.