Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Intercessions ~ Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Cimabue ~ Saint Francis of Assisi

Saturday is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi/ who called his followers little brothers./ We pray for the Church to have a Franciscan Heart/ making room for the littlest and the weakest/ And for our pope, who has taken the name Francis./ We pray to the Lord.

Middle Eastern Christianity is disappearing by war's destruction and militant persecution./ We pray for these believers to remain persevering while immersed in great suffering./ We pray to the Lord.

There are little island-nations which are only a few meters above sea level./ We ask for the great global powers to care about these countries/ so vulnerable before the threats of man-made climate change./ We pray to the Lord.

A European woman in Africa/ whose job is to lead burial teams of Ebola victims/ claims the dead are in the many thousands and increasing everyday./ We pray for the suffering continent of Africa to become a healed-land of life,/ peace,/ health and friendship./ We pray to the Lord.

In the autumn time/ the daylight decreases each day until mid-December./ We ask not to be lost to the things of inner darkness:/ hatred,/ resentment,/ greed,/ ignorance and selfish preoccupation./ We pray to the Lord.

We ask blessings for the world's sufferers:/ the children of war and sickness,/ the soldiers who hope to return home,/ the victims of disaster,/ the unemployed and those for whom work is cruel./ We pray to the Lord.

To pray for the dead is an act of enduring love./ We ask for the forgiveness of their sins/ and for their lives to be healed and made whole in the love of God./ We pray to the Lord.


14 comments:

  1. You think of everything and everybody in your Intercessions. Casting a wide net into this world of horrors and sinfulness. I wish more priests would be more focused on bringing thoughtful prayer into our lives. I can feel the deepness of your spirituality and it strengthens me.

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    1. Ever since the "Prayer of the Faithful" was introduced into the liturgy decades ago I have found it to be a time of arid prayer - parishes subscribing to books and other publications that crank out generic prayers in the "For....that..." formula. Mind-soul numbing. I think a priest who leads a Sunday liturgy has an occasion to create the intercessions each week. A priest by definition is an intercessor. The intercessions might well grow out of his intercessory prayer reflecting and modeling a heart that cares deeply about the world in all its weary dilemma.

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  2. Father Stephen,
    You show us time and time again how to love the unlovable, reach out to the unreachable, and to be free of our binding thoughts to find the mercy in God's love. I find healing in praying for others and also in doing for others. Thank you always, even if gratitude isn't always apparent. K.Z.

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    1. In the First Letter to Timothy Saint Paul instructs us to make supplications.... It is a very important component of our prayer - a powerful way of loving the world.

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    2. "...a powerful way of loving the world." This says it, these words are the instruction, "how to", actually "do something" that will effectively change the world we live in. Our prayer intercessions are so powerful, as you stated, thank you for stating it so explicitly. You remind me a lot of Brother Lawrence, on fire with one theme: God's presence and love in every aspect of our lives, no matter the appearances or circumstances. Thanks for continually shedding your love and light.

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    3. At Christmas God has come down to be with us: "The weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn." Remember that carol? Consciously hold that world in our heart at prayer at Sunday Mass. That's what these intercessions invite.

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  3. Time to give us something encouraging, hopeful, reassuring. Where is that place, that will shut out all this suffering, that we see and hear about day after day?

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    1. "Shut out all this suffering." A pious young priest went to the Mother House of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India to offer morning Mass for the community. The priest felt that Mass should be offered in silence and so he went around the chapel dramatically pulling the chains on the windows to close them. Mother Teresa got up and followed after him, opening wide all the windows. She said to him, "You can't shut out the noise of the world." "Shut out all the suffering?" That's a prerogative a tidy, antiseptic, privileged, comfort-seeking First World religion thinks it has. I wouldn't be one to accept that.

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    2. I didn't mean to escape suffering altogether. That is a selfish want. I meant' a place to regenerate to reclaim and believe that God's mercy is forever with us. Its like going into a rehab. You come out reassured believing in yourself and that all things are possible even though sin surrounds you.

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    3. Yes, I do remember that carol and all the reassurance that Christ "Our Saviour" brings to us that Holy Day. Grateful to you.

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    4. I was chaplain to a school-community of young people who had lost their way. They were angry, selfish, often hateful, pre-occupied with themselves, dishonest, addicted, failed, broken. You get the picture. Once they got the drugs out of their system and started to tell the "God's honest truth"(as my father would say) they would start to come alive. But when they started to love other people in a most self-forgetting way - then they really grew and could face the day to day in all of the challenges and struggles. Suffering is part of being on this planet. Suffering is a major item in this Christian religion we live - the place to "regenerate and reclaim" is in Christ himself - in his Gospel Word, in the Eucharist, in the stories of his saints and in loving other people.

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  4. Father,
    I remember you once sharing with us a prayer on resentment. Is this available someplace or was it something that you wrote? I would love to have it again. Thank you.

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  5. Make a list of ALL the people you have resentments with - then this prayer, twice a day for two weeks: Lord, as you know I have resentments with all of these people and even if I don't feel it right now I ask you to remove them. Take my stony, cold, hard heart and make it into a heart of mercy, compassion and love. Amen.

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