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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: May

We pray that deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church.

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Most of us know that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, chose to be called after St. Francis of Assisi. Many of us assume that St Francis was a priest. Rather, St. Francis was a deacon who beautifully lived his ordination of “diakonia” of service to others, especially the poor.

His service was rooted in the deacons of the early Church who served “at table” tending to the corporal needs of the growing faithful. A restored diaconate continues its pastoral service today as well as liturgical service and worship connecting a ministry of word and a ministry of service.

This ministry of service and word is the ministry of the first deacons of the early Church such as St. Stephen, of St. Francis in the 12th century and of deacons today as we have embarked on the next decade of this millennium in 2020.

St. Francis as deacon preached, tended to the poor, and – above all – loved. Indeed, he loved all of God’s creation. St. Francis serves as a model for our deacons today and for all of us of how to live, how to act and how to “be” culminating in his famous attribution, “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” Following this example, deacons today are called to renew and strengthen their love of God and his people. Deacons enter in their own unique mode into Christ’s mission for the Church, as we all hope to do in the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer - Deacon John Krenson

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: april

We pray that those suffering from addiction may be helped and accompanied.

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In our world and our Church, many of our brothers and sisters struggle with addictions. Indeed, almost half of Americans report having a family member or close friend who has struggled with drug addiction, and one in seven report suffering from substance addictions themselves. Today, the internet also provides an avenue for addictive behavior, including to internet use itself, to electronic devices, and to pornography. The latter is especially prevalent and known to have devastating effects on personal relationships. Which family has not experienced something of addiction’s difficulties?

Whatever factors push a person toward addiction, as a result relationships are sure to suffer: one’s relationship with God, with family, with friends. Addiction can be a tremendously isolating experience. As a Church, as persons bound together to one another through our common love of God, we recognize and pray that individuals struggling with addiction not only have their needs met through appropriate professional help, but also that their relationships with God and others be strengthened and healed.

We celebrate in our Christian faith that Jesus has set us free from sin and death; such is Jesus’ greatest victory and His gift to us. In Baptism each of us is made a sharer in this mystery and is washed clean of sin and illumined with the light of God’s grace. Yet, we struggle to live according to the “glorious freedom of the children of God” (Rm 8:21), and this gift typically becomes actualized only progressively in our lives. Let us pray for our brothers and sisters who suffer from addiction, that they may be both helped and accompanied by healing relationships along the road of recovery, in order to enjoy in authentic depth their dignity as God’s image.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer