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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: OCTOBER

That the breath of the Holy Spirit engender a new missionary “spring” in the church.

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On the Feast of the Ascension, before he ascended to the right hand of God the Father, Jesus said to his disciples: “[Y]ou will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The end of Jesus’ public ministry and earthly life, therefore, is immediately followed by the descent of the Holy Spirit and the missionary work of the Church. Throughout the ages, Christian disciples have answered this call to witness to Christ by going throughout the world to preach the Gospel in foreign lands. This missionary zeal, however, has never been possible without the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Think of Peter, for example, and how the power of the Holy Spirit that he received at Pentecost transformed him from a humble fisherman to the bold preacher and evangelist of the early Church.

Many examples throughout the ages follow this pattern of receiving the Holy Spirit and being sent on mission. By our initiation into the Church, we Christians have been given the gifts of the Holy Spirit to inspire our missionary work in the world. As we consider the state of the world today, a springtime of evangelization is budding all around us. On every continent, new ecclesial movements and committed disciples are engaging the world and transforming it through their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since the mission of every Christian is to work for the coming of the Kingdom until Christ returns in glory, may we be open to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who calls us and emboldens us in our labour.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: september

That politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.

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Photos from the space station show planet earth as a beautiful blue marble with two-thirds of it covered by water. But here on earth, it is not so beautiful. We hear stories and see pictures of destruction.   Ocean plastics kill millions of marine animals each year. Whales die with stomachs filled with plastic refuse. Coral reefs that sustain fisheries and tourism are disappearing. Every year 300 million tons of metals, sludge, and solvents are dumped into the world’s waters. One-third of fish species are threatened with extinction.

The Bishops of the Philippines once asked: “Who has turned the wonder world of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of color and life?” We who are causing this destruction can and must reverse our direction and come to the aid of our planet. Following the lead of Pope Francis, we must protect and preserve our oceans.

How? First we must acknowledge the reality, the destruction that continues. We must grow in appreciation of the place that the oceans play in our lives. Life came from and continues to come from water, from the oceans. Pope Francis has called for an “ecological conversion.” Not only must birds and animals be protected but now the oceans themselves.

Pope Francis explained that Christians have a responsibility to care for the world’s seas and oceans, and to keep them from being littered “by endless fields of floating plastic.” Calling this an emergency that must be fought with active commitment, he pleaded: “It is my prayerful hope that Christian communities may contribute more and more concretely to help everyone to enjoy this indispensable resource, in respectful care for the gifts received from the Creator, and in particular rivers, seas and oceans.”

Source: Apostleship of Prayer