Prayers and Reflections for July and August
The Pope’s Monthly Intention
For children who suffer: We pray for children who are suffering, especially those who are homeless, orphans and victims of war; may they be guaranteed access to education and the opportunity to experience family affection.
A Spanish writer has written: ‘the world is going wrong because there are more battles than prayers.’ Let us try to see that there may be more prayers and fewer battles.
Pope John Paul I, Small Things and Silence, Veritas 2022
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Everything I need to know about life I learned from Noah’s Ark
Don’t Miss the Boat
Remember we are all in the same boat
Plan ahead, it wasn’t raining when Noah built his Ark
Stay fit, when you are 95 years old someone may ask you to do something really big
Don’t listen to critics, just get on with the job that needs to be done
Build your future on high ground
For safety sake travel in pairs
Speed isn’t always an advantage, the snails were on board with the Cheetahs
When you are stressed float awhile
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals
No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting
Fr Kevin McNamara
Fr Kevin passed away in December 2021
and the above was submitted by his parishioners
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Honour the wisdom of those who went before you. Bind it ever to your heart. Tie it around your neck. When you walk, it will lead you, When you lie down, it will watch over you, When you wake it, it will talk to you!
Book of Proverbs 6:20-22
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Eucharist in a time of Extinction
They go together, Eucharist and creation. So why, when creation needs the embrace of Eucharist so badly, is it not forthcoming? We cannot celebrate Eucharist without celebrating with creation, something Pope John Paul II reminded us of in the phrase, ‘every Eucharist is celebrated on the altar of the world’. And articulated so well in these expansive words of Pope Francis, quoting his predecessor: ‘In the bread of the Eucharist, creation is projected towards divinisation, towards the holy wedding feast, towards union with the Creator’ (Laudato Si’ 236).
It would appear that many celebrations of Eucharist don’t consciously acknowledge this inseparable relationship nor realise that the true cathedral is to be found beyond high walls and wooden pews; that the ‘breaking of bread’ becomes mere ritual when cut off from its earthly roots.
Eucharist, properly understood however, appreciates that the word of creation and the word of incarnation are inseparable. Indeed there is a ‘cosmic incarnation’ expressed in the fact of creation prior to ‘the Word becoming flesh’ in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. In this vein Pope Francis writes in his latest Apostolic Letter: ‘we must reacquire confidence in creation … (for) from the very beginning, created things contain the seed of the sanctifying grace of the sacraments’ (Desiderio Desideravi, 46)
Celebrating Eucharist with this awareness is our way of holding creation dear and becomes a profound ecological gesture with responsibilities flowing from it. To fail to appreciate this is a failure in sacramental understanding, like offering merely the words but not the living Word to the downcast faces of a local human gathering while erasing the divine alphabet expressed in the multitude of living forms as a consequence.
May we not let go of this vision of a cosmic Eucharist, the only Eucharist there is.
Fr Hugh O’Donnell SDB
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Prayer of blessing for an Advent Wreath
A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.
Lord God, your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Savior, who enlightens our hearts and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin.
Pour forth your blessings upon us as we light the candles of this wreath; may their light reflect the splendor of Christ, who is Lord, for ever and ever. Amen.
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