Prayers and Reflections for February
St Brigid, Abbess and Patron of Ireland
[Father] your wonderful love is seen in Saint Brigid:
you taught her to open her heart and hands to the poor
and to seek the image of your Son in every welcomed guest.
Through her you showed a people
the way of Mary, the Mother of your Son,
in dedicated service and holiness of life.
On this feast you fill our hearts with joy
for you continue to bless the Church
you planted by her labours.
from the Preface for St Brigid’s Day
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To sin is to abandon the Source of Love
‘According to biblical faith, the origin of evil is not found in the material, corporeal world, experienced as a boundary or a prison from which we need to be saved. On the contrary, this faith proclaims that all the universe is good because it was created by God (cf. Gen 1:31; Wis 1:13-14; 1 Tim 4:4), and that the evil that is most damaging to the human person is that which comes from his or her heart (cf. Mt 15:18-19; Gen 3:1-19). By sinning, humanity abandoned the source of love, and loses itself in false forms of love that close people ever more into themselves. It is this separation from God – He who is the fount of communion and life – that brings about the loss of harmony among human persons, and between humanity and the world, introducing the dominion of disintegration and death (cf. Rm 5:12).’
Placuit Deo, par. 7
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Prayer for Religious
God our Father
may consecrated men and women be a beacon in the darkness,
capable of seeing values where others see none
and of recognising beauty where others fail to do so.
May they be missionaries who firstly ‘are’ and then ‘do’
and who hope against all hope.
May they enjoy silence in the midst of noise
and dare to speak when cowardice would demand silence,
always seeking new paths for prophetic proclamation.
May they experience daily the joy and the adventure
that flows from giving one’s life for the sake of Jesus and His Gospel.
May the ‘yes’ of Mary, Star of the Sea,
continue to inspire and guide us on the pilgrimage of life. Amen.
Sr M. Louise O’ Rourke, pddm
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Reflection for World Day of Prayer for the Sick, 11 February
‘The Church’s maternal vocation to the needy and to the sick has found concrete expression throughout the two thousand years of her history in an impressive series of initiatives on behalf of the sick. This history of dedication must not be forgotten. It continues to the present day throughout the world. In countries where adequate public health care systems exist, the work of Catholic religious congregations and dioceses and their hospitals is aimed not only at providing quality medical care, but also at putting the human person at the centre of the healing process, while carrying out scientific research with full respect for life and for Christian moral values. In countries where health care systems are inadequate or non-existent, the Church seeks to do what she can to improve health, eliminate infant mortality and combat widespread disease. The image of the Church as a ‘field hospital’ that welcomes all those wounded by life is a very concrete reality, for in some parts of the world, missionary and diocesan hospitals are the only institutions providing necessary care to the population.’
Pope Francis (Message for 2018)
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