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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: juLY

We pray that, in social, economic and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects of dialogue and friendship.

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In the heart of summer, these are long and lazy days for many of us. There’s time for rest, vacation, swimming, and barbecues with family and friends. In these sunny days and starry nights, our backyards and front porches can feel like the safest and best places to be.

In July, Pope Francis asks us to pray for social friendship: “that in social, economic and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects.” In the Gospels, we see Jesus reaching out to draw all people into the Kingdom of God. He meets with Greeks and the poor, visits with lawyers and Pharisees, dines with women and sinners and Samaritans.

Even in these summer days of rest and recreation, we’re invited to open our circle wider—to welcome someone new or to meet old friends in new ways.

Meeting different people can be fun and exciting! It can mean new ideas, new stories, and new experiences. And, sometimes, it’s not easy. In a wounded world filled with conflict and division, it can be difficult to go beyond my neighborhood, my friends and family. How can I invite visitors into my backyard? Where can I go to meet new friends on their front porches?

Fr. Andrij Hlabse, S.J. – Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: june

Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience.

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Marriage is a tremendously beautiful Christian vocation meant to reflect that eternal and infinite faithfulness that Christ has for His Church (Ephesians 5:32). It is also a vocation, like every vocation, made up of the concrete ups and downs, joys and struggles of every-day life. In order to reach the goal of profound Christian witness in marriage, especially in today’s cultural context, young people need to prepare seriously before entering this call, so that they can live its gifts and challenges faithfully.

If we think of the wisdom of the Church’s practice, we notice that all those moments that introduce us into a vocation are accompanied by formation in the Church’s community. The Sacrament of Baptism is either followed (for children) or preceded (for adults) by serious catechesis; the Sacrament of Holy Orders is only received after many years of training. Those entering consecrated life only pronounce their vows after a special time of formation called “novitiate.” Why should marriage be any different?

Each vocation is a special way of living friendship with Christ. In marriage this friendship shines forth in the life-long commitment between one man and one woman, open to new life in children. Marriage is lived in the community of the new family itself and in the wider community of the Church, a kind of family of families. Every married path is unique, yet they all depend on the virtue of love to grow in that generosity, faithfulness, and patience that make every-day Christian witness possible.

Especially within a cultural context that promotes messages contrary to God’s plan for marriage, let us all help young people prepare to embrace faithfully the deep beauty and adventure of this Christian calling!

Fr. Joe Laramie S.J. – Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)