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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: November
That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.
We live in a world of much violence—wars around the world, in our communities, and even in our homes. Seeing and experiencing this violence provokes fear and anger within us, often tempting us to respond with more violence. But this isn’t God’s answer to violence. We find God’s answer on the cross. Jesus didn’t allow Peter to defend him from an arrest by use of the sword. Nor did he call down legions of angels to save him from the Romans who tortured and executed him. Instead he submitted to death on the cross. In some mysterious way, the Father used the death and resurrection of his Son for far greater purposes than any of his followers could have imagined. As Pope Francis eloquently stated, “In the silence of the cross, the uproar of weapons ceases and the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, dialogue, and peace is spoken.”
The words we use matter, and can move us towards greater peace, or towards more conflict. Our words are an expression of who we are, just as Jesus Himself, the Word made flesh, is the incarnate expression of who the Father is. When our words are hostile and aim to put others down, we aren’t imitating Jesus, and reconciliation becomes impossible. When instead we use the language of love and peace, this enables us to enter into dialogue with others, even with those who are very different from us. Through that dialogue we begin to better understand one another, enabling us to follow Jesus in building a more peaceful world.
Source: Apostleship of Prayer
Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: october
That consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the
poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.
Shortly after my ordination last June, I was invited to give a homily on the readings of the day to a rosary group of the parish. It just so happened that the group was meeting that night in a family’s trailer, and the air conditioning unit was broken. The heat was almost overwhelming, and they all became concerned at how much el Padre was sweating. Soaked through as I was on the outside, interiorly I was also deeply moved by the event. As the rosary ended, the entire group, made up primarily of migrants from indigenous regions of Mexico, placed themselves on their knees for the Litany of Loreto.
In that trailer were people of profound faith. They may not have been wealthy in the eyes of the world, but I imagine they appeared very rich in the eyes of God. “Blessed are you who are poor,” Jesus declares in the Gospel of Luke, whose feast we celebrate on Oct. 18th , “for the Kingdom of God is yours” (6:20). In this month’s intention, Pope Francis calls us to pray that we consecrated religious “be-stir” ourselves to become more present among these blessed people to whom belongs the Kingdom of God.
To live in close solidarity with the poor is sometimes uncomfortable, and it often means foregoing the perks of a well-resourced ministry. But as I experienced that night with the rosary group, we tend to receive much more from the poor than we give, and among them we have the joy of finding Christ. There was no better witness to this mystery in our time than Mother Teresa, who never tired of reminding us that the same Christ we encounter in the Eucharist awaits us in “distressing disguise” in “the poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.”
Source: Apostleship of Prayer