Prayers and Reflections for October
Pope’s Intention for October
Evangelisation: we pray that by the virtue of baptism, the laity, especially women, may participate more in areas of responsibility in the Church.
St Thérése of Lisieux (Luke 10:1-12) 1 October
This daughter of a watchmaker was the youngest of nine children. Her mother was a lace maker and she died when Thérése was four years old. Her central teaching, contained in her book, The Story of a Soul was that ordinary people could lead saintly lives by the Little Way. When the relics of St Thérése came to Ireland, people flocked in huge numbers to welcome them. People recognised that in Thérése that Christ became a real presence for her, through family traumas and when she got tuberculosis that claimed her life at the age of 24.
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The Guardian Angels (Matthew 18:1-5, 10) 2 October
The presence of the Angels is common with the Abrahamic Faith religions: Christianity, Judaism Islam, and the Bahá’í, as well as being mentioned in Sikh and Zoroastrian texts. We believe that each one of us has a Guardian Angel that watches over us and helps us. Angels are God’s messengers. In unseen ways our angles help us on our earthly journey.
They come the messenger of love,
they come from peace above,
from homes of never-fading light
from blissful mansions ever-bright.
They come to watch around us here,
to soothe our sorrow, calm our fear:
Ye heavenly guides, speed not away,
God willeth you, with us to stay.
Hymn from the Liturgy of the Hours
for the feast of Guardian Angels
The phrase the ‘messenger of love’ from the hymn is a perfect description for the Angels. We pray in Psalm 91: 11-12 ‘For you has he commanded his angels to keep you in all you ways.’ In the gospel we are reminded ‘not to look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my Father in heaven’ (Mt 18:10).
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Our Lady of the Rosary (Luke 11:1-4) 7 October
The Rosary developed a parallel with the Monastic Office with the 150 psalms mirroring the 150 Hail Marys of the Rosary cycle. The cycle outlines the history of salvation from the announcement of Christ’s birth to Mary’s coronation in heaven. Many religions use beads to quiet the mind. The repetition of prayers and the handling of the beads create a space to allowing the Spirit to whisper to our hearts the wonder and mystery of God’s love for us.
October invites us to recover a renewed appreciation of the rosary as a contemplative and Christ-centred prayer. In this Mission Month we pray especially for all missionaries, peace keeping soldiers, development workers and NGO’s who are serving overseas.
Caryll Houselander (1901-1954) wrote some beautiful prayers on the rosary while she was lying flat on her back as London was being bombed in World War 11. Here is an excerpt of her prayers:
The Finding in the Temple
through Mary seeking her lost Son,
may we be give grace
always to seek for the Christ-child
and always to find him.
Let us find him in all children,
and in all who have a child’s needs
the helpless, the sick, the simple,
in all who serve
and are trusting and poor;
in all who are lonely and homeless.
Let us too become as little children,
to find the Divine Child
in our own hearts.
Maisie Ward, Splendour of the Rosary
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St Teresa of Avila (1512-1582) 15 October
Wherever you find yourself today, whether you are delighted or disillusioned, filled with wonder or wounded, shining or shattered in our modern world that is constantly changing, St Teresa of Avila has words of wisdom for you:
All our troubles come from not keeping our eyes on Christ.’
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St John Paul II (1920-2005)
Darkness can only be scattered by love, hatred can only be conquered by love.’
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