Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Intercessions ~ Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our Lady of Perpetual Help ~ Feastday, Monday, June 27

We pray boldly for God to intervene where we can't stop fighting,/ where destruction is extensive,/ where addictions lead to death,/ where life if most vulnerable,/ where hatred is deepest./ We pray to the Lord.

In the night-time of our anxieties,/ we ask for rest and calm,/ and that we would be able to turn to prayer and better thoughts./ We pray to the Lord.

Grant that in this charged political time,/ we would be sensible,/ balanced people/ and not overwhelmed with dire messages and predictions./ We pray to the Lord.

Bless the rescuers who helped and saved in this week's airport attack in Turkey./ Heal and comfort the injured and their loved ones,/ conversion to terrorists and murderers./ We pray to the Lord.

As we prepare to move to the altar at Mass,/ we pray all the more for the movement of our minds and hearts - awake to God's nearness./ We pray to the Lord. 

For summertime travelers,/ campers and vacationers./ For the sick and those who are forsaken in their troubles and sorrows./ We pray to the Lord. 

And for the dead,/ mindful of those who have died this week in acts of terror,/ war,/ domestic violence,/ accident,/ drug and slave trafficking./ And for mourners to be consoled./ We pray to the Lord. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mother of God Czestochowa and Spiritual Invasion

It is said that the icon of the Mother of God ~ Czestochowa was painted by Saint Luke in the home at Nazareth. It is further said that Saint Helena discovered the icon in 326 A.D. and brought it to Constantinople. From there it made its way to Poland in about the year 600.  On the other hand, art historians date the icon to somewhere between 500-800 A.D. and that the first real documentation of its monastery connection at Jasna Gora (Bright Mountain) is 14th century. The long and short of it: it is a very old icon, full of history and great spiritual energy such that people continue to pilgrim to it by the many thousands every year.

The Czestochowa Mother of God is Poland's defender against invaders. Hussites stormed the Pauline Monastery in 1430 at which time her face was slashed by the one who carried her away in the pillage. Again she saved the Pauline Monks in the Swedish invasion of 1655. Poles rallied around after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and then again in the pained Soviet decades which sought to crush Polish Catholicism.

The Czestochowa icon was even "arrested" by Soviet police as she was carried throughout the country on pilgrimage and sent back to the monastery of Jasna Gora under house arrest! The pilgrims completed the long journey, escorting her empty frame from parish to parish as an act of defiance. 

She seems to take invaders and invasion seriously. And so must we. But we must move beyond the accounts of geo-political invasion and understand the word spiritually, lest she be robbed of her real purpose, power and significance. We don't want to be just admirers but participants. And so...

O Lady Czestochowa, defend us,
From the invasion of despair to hope,
From the invasion of bitterness to joy,
From the invasion of prejudice to hospitality,
From the invasion of personal dissatisfaction to surrender.

O Lady ~ Virgin Mary,
That we would be invaded with love ~ even for our enemies,
That we would be invaded with Holy Spirit,
That we would be invaded by a changed consciousness,
That we would be invaded with a personal knowledge of Christ,
That we would be invaded by a desire for peace.

O Czestochowa, Mother of God,
invade our thoughts,
invade our feelings,
invade our politics,
invade our church-life,
invade our families.

O Lady of the Bright Mountain,
stand against our war-making mentality,
stand against the gun-fetish and our atrocities,
stand against our life-denying choices,
stand against our grabbing self-interest,
stand against all the lies,
stand against the power-lust,
stand against the deepening hatred,
stand against our violence and depravity.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Prayer Before Zurbaran's Childhood of Mary

Francisco de Zurbaran painted this picture titled: The Childhood of the Virgin Mary somewhere between 1658 and 1660. Zurbaran completed images of the young Jesus and Mary many times, each a great gift to us, as they depict the sensitivity and beauty of children known well to the painter who was a father and grandfather. 

My own meditation follows. You understand that no one needs a degree in theology to compose a prayer but only some time given to deep-looking in silence. The prayer will come of itself then. We're invited to create our own last stanza(s) here. 

Blessed are you, Child Mary, our sister.
Blessed are you, Child Mary, who danced on the temple steps.
Blessed are you, Child Mary, who entered the Ark of the Lord.
Blessed are you, Child Mary, whose face wakes up my heart.
Blessed are you, Child Mary, full of spiritual nobility.
Blessed are you, Child Mary, living in the World of Peace.

Child Mary, are you sewing a cloth to be placed on the altar?
Child Mary, or to remind me of Jesus' shroud?
Child Mary, seated already as if on a throne.
Child Mary, whose lap will be Jesus' throne on earth.
Child Mary, serene in harmony with God.
Child Mary, bright against the darkness.

Rejoice, young Mary, the shawl of our rebellion falls from you.
Rejoice, young Mary, your heart is enlightened.
Rejoice, young Mary, delighting in God's Beauty.
Rejoice, young Mary, pure-hearted.
Rejoice, young Mary, whose refuge is in God.
Rejoice, young Mary, you see; you know.

Little daughter, I am silent and still with you.
Little daughter, speak on my behalf at the judgment day.
Little daughter, far from the lower world.
Little daughter, your fingers locked in prayer.
Little daughter, conversing with a seraph.
Little daughter, teach me to pray.

Happy are you, young Mary, as God stirs forth from his holy dwelling.
Happy are you, young Mary, the old order is passing away.
Happy are you, young Mary, attentive in solitude.
Happy are you, young Mary, listening in silence.
Happy are you, young Mary, in close union with God.
Happy are you, young Mary, infinitely loved by God.

Dear sister, direct me to heaven's higher things.
Dear sister, give me a fresh awareness of God.
Dear sister, what do you see in the gaze of your prayer?
Dear sister, interiorly formed as Christ's disciple.
Dear sister, God's dwelling is with the human race.
Dear sister, an abundance of love.

Blessed are you, Mary, in your joyful spirit.
Blessed are you, Mary, first to share in God's self-gift.
Blessed are you, Mary, blessed in your believing.
Blessed are you, Mary, the flame of Pentecost in your dress.
Blessed are you, Mary, whose dress is royal red.
Blessed are you, Mary, God will take his humanity from you.

Young Lady, whose purpose is discerned from afar.
Young Lady, awaken knowledge of Christ in us.
Young Lady, Christ to be conceived  in my heart.
Young Lady, you'll be Mother to the Prince of Peace.
Young Lady, may I find joy in children.
Young Lady, with you, I am a Child of God.

Be glad, little girl, whose face is turned towards the Light.
Be glad, little girl, soul-opened to heaven's desire.
Be glad, little girl, in your knowledge of God.
Be glad, little girl, in union with the Source of joy and peace.
Be glad, little girl, God makes all things new.
Be glad, little girl, keeping the Divine Word and pondering it in your heart.

Childhood of Mary, in solidarity with little girls aborted.
Childhood of Mary, in solidarity with girls enslaved.
Childhood of Mary, in solidarity with little girls exploited.
Childhood of Mary, in solidarity with girls terrified in war.
Childhood of Mary, in solidarity with girls left un-educated.
Childhood of Mary, in solidarity with little girls thrown away.

Alleluia! Alleluia!
Great is your happiness, O holy Virgin,
you are worthy of the highest praise;
For from you arose the sun of justice,
Christ our God.

Mass for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Intercessions ~ Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The apostles  look to destroy the Samaritans who did not welcome Jesus/ because he was on his way to the wrong holy city./ We ask to be healed of resentments and the desire to punish people in revenge./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for the children who were born this week,/ and for adults eager to welcome them into a just and peaceful world./ We pray to the Lord.

Terrible fires are already burning in California at the start of summer./ We pray for fire-fighters and all who are helping./ For the safety of all/ and for rain where it is needed./ We pray to the Lord.

Heal the gun violence of this nation/ which takes the lives of eighty nine people each day./ Give us peaceful minds./ We pray to the Lord.

In the June-month of the Sacred Heart,/ we ask for all to the know the un-tiring love of Christ,/ keeping world leaders in mind,/ and the sick,/ the elderly,/ the poor/ and those who are marginalized and powerless./ We pray to the Lord.

For summer travelers and vacationers./ For those who get no time away from tiresome work./ For families struggling with addiction,/ bitterness and dysfunction./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for anyone who is dying,/ mindful of those who are alone or without help./ And for the dead/ we ask forgiveness and the blessings of life and joy./ We pray to the Lord.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

There's an awful lot of hate out there.

Sister Anne's Hands was published in 2000, written by Marybeth Lorbiecki and illustrated by K. Wendy Popp. Here's the synopsis of this very important children's book found inside the dust cover:

In small-town America in the early 60's, Sister Anne comes to teach at Anna's school. "Her skin was darker than any person's I'd ever known," says Anna, and her hand "was puppy brown with white lacy moons for nails."
From the first day of second grade, Sister Anne lights up the classroom, "I'd never had so much fun at school!" Anna observes after a day of counting buttons and teeth, sharing jokes and stories. Then someone sails a paper airplane past Sister's head, with an ugly message written on the wings. How Sister deals with the incident and the profound impact she has on her students - especially Anna - is at the heart of this moving, timeless tale.

After the sad and hurtful incident the rest of the school day is spent in silence. The next morning when the students come into class they see the photographs Sister Anne has taped to the board of black people having been beaten and lynched, bleeding and forced to use black's only toilets. One sign says, "Go back to Africa."  She tells the children, "These are the colors of hatred. Do you know how they feel?"

Then the nun speaks the most important lines: "One thing you're going to learn is that some folks have their hearts wide open, and others are tight as a fist. The tighter they are the more dangerous. For me, I'd rather open my door enough to let everyone in than risk slamming it shut on God's big toe."

There's an awful lot of hate going round these days. A news commentator ticked off some of it the other night: Hate for blacks, Latinos, Mexicans, Muslims, women, gays, Jews...

I've heard it said that our country's original sin is racism. I understand, but I'd be inclined to say it even more simply: our original sin is hatred.  

Someone asked if I think there's more hate today than years ago. I'm not sure if that matters. Suffice to say, it's bad. Joshua Dubois, the minister who is a spiritual guide to the president said on TV tonight: "There are lots of good people in this country who don't hate, but they are also the quietest people in the country. They say nothing to the people who do hate."

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Jesus, Questioning Teacher

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say I am?" They answered, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, others one of the prophets." "And you," he asked them, "who do you say I am?" Peter replied, "You are the Messiah." Then he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him; and he began to teach them that the Son of Man had to undergo great sufferings, and to be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and doctors of the law; to be put to death, and to rise again three days afterwards. He spoke about it plainly. At this Peter took him by the arm and began to rebuke him. But Jesus turned round, and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter, "Away with you, Satan," he said; "you think as men think, not as God thinks." Mark 8: 17-24

Some Christians think of Jesus only as the Savior forgetting that he spent years first being the Teacher. Indeed, in these gospel verses Jesus is walking along the road and the whole class is with him. And, good teacher that he is, as they walk, Jesus asks questions, first of the whole group and then by singling out Peter. The best teachers ask questions to get people thinking and not just to have information spouted back.

So Jesus asks something like, "What are people saying about me these days?" And the disciples give a pious answer: "Moses, Elijah, a prophet." But then Jesus turns the conversation, asking them about their own experience. Jesus is supposed to be a lived experience, not simply a truth we swear by: a faith-sentence on a page.

And when Peter chimes in with another pious answer, "You're the Messiah," Jesus, knowing that Messiah means super-king, takes the opportunity to open up for everyone the ideas of suffering, rejection, death and rising. Peter refuses that idea saying, "Oh, nothing doing Jesus. Don't even think it, Jesus." To this Jesus gets really angry: in a flash of bad temper even calling Peter, Satan, who thwarts God's purposes. 

Well, the Gospels are alive and as much about today as centuries ago, so the questions Jesus posed are for us to answer too. We can either wrestle with those questions or click escape

We might fill in the blank at the top of the page. But don't give a catechism answer, and (as I often say to people) don't use any religious sounding words in your answer: Savior, Redeemer, Blood of the Lamb, King, Lord, Messiah. Resorting to religious vocabulary is too easy. We might have to sit a long time to identify and express the deeply personal and interior experience of Jesus which is ours. 

"Christ, you have come to disturb us," Dostoevsky wrote. To be disturbed is the last thing many religious people want. But to allow my mind, my heart, my  consciousness, my inner aspect to be changed or troubled...?

We usually think of the disciple as a follower. But that's awfully passive. Instead, I'd say a disciple is a student. I want to be Jesus' pupil. That's why in every icon, even where he is depicted as a child, Jesus holds a scroll with a sentence for me to experience personally. Sometimes the scroll is rolled up (or the book is closed) leaving me to ponder what message Jesus has in store for me individually.

But could I suggest the message won't be: "There, there now, everything will be alright," but rather something more like, "Wake up now, sleeper!" And that message might be for our nation, for the world, for the Church...

Here in this mosaic of Christ the Teacher, Jesus seems to be looking off to the side of the classroom where so many of us hope to hide. What if I dared to open the teacher's book? Which, by the way, is not a grade book!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Intercessions ~Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Syrian refugee father

As we remember our own fathers and grandfathers today,/ we pray too for fathers who struggle against the terrible obstacles of war,/ poverty,/ unemployment and homelessness./ For fathers who are overwhelmed and need new strength and courage./ We pray to the Lord

We pray as well for the world's children who need every assistance:/ asking for each to be fed,/ clothed,/ educated,/ housed and valued./ We pray to the Lord. 

We pray for the nation after this week's terrible massacre in Florida./ For first-responders,/ police,/ rescuers and investigators./ For mourning family and friends/ and for anyone who feels sorrow and fear./ We pray boldly for the conversion of haters and killers./ We pray to the Lord. 

Pope Francis has asked why guns and weapons move around the world so easily while food and aid are often obstructed./ Give us gifts of courage and honesty in answering his question./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for the Muslim world,/ the Jewish and Christian worlds./ And that we would be true to the best teachings of religion:/ growing in compassionate service,/ kindness,/ hospitality and love for people./ We pray to the Lord.

This weekend we observe the Summer Solstice:/ the longest day and the shortest night of the year./ We ask to be persons of light,/ overcoming the darkness of greed and selfishness./ We pray to the Lord.

And we pray for those who died in Orlando this week,/ and for deceased fathers and grandfathers./ And as the school year ends/ we remember and pray for the many who have taught us during our lifetime/ and who are now deceased./ We pray to the Lord.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Holy Panteleimion - Wonderworker

Panteleimion, whose name means all-compassionate or all-merciful, was born in 275 A.D. He's listed as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, called a wonder-worker, healer and great martyr. Trained as a physician, he dedicated his life to the unfortunate, to sufferers, prisoners and the needy - all without charge.

Healing a paralytic aroused jealousy in other local physicians who brought charges against him. It's said that at the moment of Panteleimion's execution, the olive tree beneath which he had been tortured, was suddenly covered with fruit: a spiritual-poetic image of the Christian life bearing the fruit of charity.

Here the holy saint is depicted with his medicine box; dispensing spoon at the ready. Notice the box contains four compartments. Four (a quaternity: like a square or rectangle) signifies completion or wholeness, as if to say Panteleimion possessed everything needed to effect healing. 

Maybe Panteleimion was an expert in combining his four herbal ingredients. There are 15 combinations of four - the basic four, or each alone, then each combined with one, two or three others. Maybe we can imagine attaching a healing prayer to each. And utter one extra to make for an even 16. Maybe Panteleimion has one remedy up his sleeve!

Panteleimion is a patron saint of livestock; midwives; sufferers of headache, loneliness and consumption; locusts; the lottery and lottery winners; crying babies and witchcraft. Almost all of these have to do with external realities. We can do better with our prayer, as heaven's real work is interior: our inner growth and maturation, the waking up (seed-like) of what is latent within each human person by God's design. 

Panteleimion died young in 305 A.D. His feast day on the Western calendar is July 27; on the Eastern calendar, August 9.

Panteleimion, restore human dignity to our degraded condition.
Panteleimion, a powerful healing of our war-obsession.
Panteleimion, we need a medicine to heal our fear of asking WHY.
Panteleimion, rid us of the worm of our hatred.

Panteleimion, insults fly like disease-bearing insects; relieve us.
Panteleimion, repair our spiritual lethargy.
Panteleimion, preserve what's healthy and good.
Panteleimion, rehabilitate the addicted.

Panteleimion, cure the prejudice.
Panteleimion, antidote for our discouragement and settled sadness.
Panteleimion, mend our rifts.
Panteleimion, put us right in our wearying fears.

Panteleimion, anti-serum for the poison of power abuse.
Panteleimion, make well again the culture in decline.
Panteleimion, soothe our anxious pettiness.
Panteleimion, calm the inflamed anger.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Jesus Gives True Sight

They arrived at Bethsaida. There the people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him away out of the village. Then he spat on his eyes, laid his hands upon him, and asked whether he could see anything. The man's sight began to come back, and he said, "I see men; they look like trees, but they are walking about." Jesus laid his hands  on his eyes again; he looked hard, and now he was cured so that he saw everything clearly. Then Jesus sent him home, saying, "Do not tell anyone in the village."  Mark  8:22-26

Here is Buoninsegna's painting of Jesus restoring the sight of the blind man. Notice that the artist has painted a scene within a scene. In the middle, the blind man stands before Jesus, then he's pictured a second time immediately to the right and walking down the road, one hand in the air praising God while with the other, letting go of the stick he'd used for so long to help him find his way. 

The turreted city of Bethsaida is pictured in the background (remember we're told Jesus led the man outside the village). The spellbound apostles huddle close behind Jesus. 

We must recall too that in the verses just prior to this miracle, the apostles are fussing about having forgotten to take bread along with them, though they had just witnessed Jesus feeding five thousand people with so little. Let's hear again the words of Jesus as they sailed along:

Jesus said to them: "Why do you talk about no bread? Have you no inkling yet? Do you still not understand? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes: can you not see? You have ears: can you not hear?"

Then right after calling the apostles blind and deaf to their faces, Jesus gave new sight to a blind man. Let's understand, this miracle isn't essentially about optical sight.Jesus would have me know that I can have 20/20 vision and detect even the most subtle clicks and beeps in the hearing test, and still be blind and deaf. 

Likely Jesus wanted the apostles to understand HIM clearly - who he is. But I think there's even more to it than that - Jesus wants us to see and hear each other clearly. He wants us to understand each moment well. He wants us to understand ourselves clearly! When I was a boy, my father would sometimes take us to Yankee Stadium ballgames. It felt gentlemanly, men wearing hats, jackets and neckties. Conversely, this morning's news reported that now baseball games rather routinely feature violence - pitchers and batters throwing punches, whole teams rushing out onto the field in a frenzy of fighting, the stadium erupting into a celebration of cheers. That's deaf and blind. 

But Jesus is patient with us. Notice the healing doesn't happen all at once but in stages. We grow in goodness. In the Gospel verses to follow, Peter will call Jesus Messiah, and then in a great misunderstanding, he will reject that Jesus will have to suffer as Messiah. Finally, Peter will even deny knowing Jesus the night of Jesus' arrest. Still, in one of the first Easter appearances, Jesus, ever patient, will recycle Peter in love, giving him new tasks, again inviting, Follow me." 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Intercessions ~ Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Borage in the June Garden

In this June-month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,/ we pray for our own symbolic hearts:/ that we would be single-hearted in a world of stress,/ tension and sorrow./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for travelers and vacationers,/ for students and teachers as the school year ends./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for those who live where there is disaster./ For helpers and rescuers,/ for those who suffer the loss of dignity,/ home/ job,/ property or loved ones./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for our country this election season,/ and for those who lead in Church and State to be genuinely good people/ whose care is to serve people./ We pray to the Lord.

Monday is the Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua,/ the patron saint of lost things./ Grant that we would never trivialize the saints,/ asking only that we would each find our way to Christ/ and the people who need our help./ We pray to the Lord.

We ask for the raising up of new peacemakers,/ people blessed with gifts of listening and understanding./ We ask God to plant in each human heart/ a new desire to be done with weapons of hate./ We pray to the Lord. 

Last week over one thousand refugees drown in the Mediterranean Sea./ We pray for them/ and all who feel trapped and threatened./ And for all who have died./ We pray to the Lord.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

All is Calm, All is Bright...

Perhaps we could do with some reassurance in the midst of all the confusion, the rage, the ugliness, Indeed, Christmas is everyday. It is the Incarnation: God has come so close at Bethlehem we can miss it. Enjoy this. These are choir boys at Winchester Cathedral, England.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

New Litany to the Sacred Heart in June

The very beautiful, traditional Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which many of us prayed as children, has a long story dating even to the 1600's. It seems to have been created out of many sources including the contributions of a priest, a nun and devout lay woman. 

The month of June, belonging to the Sacred Heart, with this image of the Celestial or Cosmic Christ, seems to invite us to pray our own litany, one perhaps more grounded explicitly in the Gospels. There's no suggestion that it supplant the traditional litany, but simply to offer it. 

Heart of Jesus, conceived in Mary's womb
Heart of Jesus, love for Bethlehem's shepherds
Heart of Jesus, maturing in the Nazareth home
Heart of Jesus, generous at Cana's wedding
Heart of Jesus, in the feeding of five thousand

Heart of Jesus, calling us friends
Heart of Jesus, in the washing of feet
Heart of Jesus, grieved in Gethsemane's Garden
Heart of Jesus, instructing Peter to put away the sword
Heart of Jesus, along the Calvary way

Heart of Jesus, invoking, "Father forgive"
Heart of Jesus, consoling Mary and John
Heart of Jesus, crying out, "I thirst!"
Heart of Jesus, pierced-opening of the Father's House
Heart of Jesus, leaving the Easter tomb empty

Heart of Jesus, that we would feed the hungry
Heart of Jesus, that we would give drink to the thirsty
Heart of Jesus, that we would clothe the naked
Heart of Jesus, that we would welcome the stranger; shelter the homeless
Heart of Jesus, that we would visit the sick and imprisoned

Heart of Jesus, love for blind Bartimaeus
Heart of Jesus, love for the Samaritan woman
Heart of Jesus, love for the rich young man
Heart of Jesus, love for the mothers and their children
Heart of Jesus, love for Lazarus, Martha and Mary

Heart of Jesus, all forgiveness
Heart of Jesus, all welcome
Heart of Jesus, calling the dead to life
Heart of Jesus, over-riding prohibitions
Heart of Jesus, God's rule of love

Heart of Jesus, where power is sought
Heart of Jesus, where terrorists plot
Heart of Jesus, where children are exploited
Heart of Jesus, where the weak are abandoned
Heart of Jesus, where we fail the poorest

Heart of Jesus, forgive our prejudices
Heart of Jesus, heal hateful divisions
Heart of Jesus, raise us out of discouragement
Heart of Jesus, remedy wrong thinking
Heart of Jesus, in our wounds and regrets

Many-chambered and 
opened at Calvary,
your Heart, O Christ,
room for all,
where we find each other,
let's believe it:
thrown away and highly valued,
lovers and haters,
colors and kinds
and all the nations,
believers and unbelievers,
scoffers too,
ivory-ied elephants 
and forest moss,
soil and water
named and un-named stars.

Father Stephen P. Morris

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Intercessions ~ Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Leaf Mustard in the Green Time

In the raising of the widow's son at Nain/ we witness and pray to share the Lord's awareness,/ his compassion and generous call to life./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for Pope Francis in this June-month of the Sacred Heart./ And for Christians everywhere to know and extend the love of Christ to a wearied world./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for those who work difficult jobs in the care of the elderly,/ the sick and the needy./ And for teachers and students as their school year comes to a close./ We pray to the Lord.

As we return to the green time in the liturgical year,/ we ask for the green-ing of peace where there is terrorism,/ war,/ argument and division./ We pray to the Lord.

We ask blessings for our Sunday worship/ and that of church-goers around the world./ For our prayer to be attentive and heart-felt./ And for communities whose churches have been destroyed or closed./ We pray to the Lord.

Grant a national restoration/ as in this political time we see ourselves taken down to a very low human place./ We ask for leadership that is wise/ and committed to what is best for all./ We pray to the Lord.

We pray for those who are trapped and exploited in wars,/ especially mindful of children,/ the elderly and those who are weak and left behind./ We pray  too for those who have died this week and for those who take life./ We pray to the Lord.