Lourdes 2016

lourdes-1Please keep students and staff who are going to Lourdes this year in your prayers…

Pray especially for the students who will be working hard caring for the elderly and sick pilgrims.

And join your prayers to those of the servant-pilgrims by praying to Our Lady of Lourdes:

O ever-Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy,
health of the sick, refuge of sinners,
comforter of the afflicted,
you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings;
look with mercy on me.

By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes,
you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary,
whence you dispense your favors;
and already many sufferers have obtained
the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.

I come, therefore, with complete confidence
to implore your maternal intercession.

Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests.
Through gratitude for your favors,
I will endeavor to imitate your virtues,
that I may one day share your glory. Amen.

 

Praying in December: The Year of Mercy

On December the 8th, the day when we celebrate Mary, protected from sin from the moment of her Conception, the Church also begins its keeping of the Year of Mercy.

In this Jubilee Year, Pope Francis calls the Church to focus on mercy, for mercy takes us to the very heart  of God who is love. God is not love in abstract, as an idea only. God is love in action. God does not just talk about it: he does it.

Year of MercyOne of the key scriptural texts is the parable of the finding of the lost sheep, and that gives us the image, like it or not (and it seems to be like ecclesiastial Bovril!) , that is the Church’s international symbol for the Year.

But the key point is not the image or logo, but the reality of mercy. It is God’s gift to us, and the mission of the Church and every Christian is to seek to live by God’s mercy, and to share the good news of God’s mercy with the whole world.

Pope Francis writes:

As we can see in Sacred Scripture, mercy is a key word that indicates God’s action towards us. He does not limit himself merely to affirming his love, but makes it visible and tangible. Love, after all, can never be just an abstraction. By its very nature, it indicates something concrete: intentions, attitudes, and behaviours that are shown in daily living. The mercy of God is his loving concern for each one of us. He feels responsible; that is, he desires our wellbeing and he wants to see us happy, full of joy, and peaceful. This is the path which the merciful love of Christians must also travel. As the Father loves, so do his children. Just as he is merciful, so we are called to be merciful to each other.

Points to bring to your prayer:

  • Why might God wish to be merciful?
  • Why does God need to be merciful to you?
  • How can you bring something of God’s mercy to others.

 

A whole Year to explore the mercy of God

Each month during the Year of Mercy there will be an opportunity to explore a different dimension of the parable of the Finding of the Lost Sheep’:

Here is the parable:

Jesus said: Who among you, if they had a hundred sheep, but then lost one, would not leave the ninety nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it. And when he found it would he not joyfully carry it home on his shoulders, and then call together his friends and neighbours? ‘Rejoice with me,’ he would say. ‘I have found my sheep that was lost. In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who says sorry and wants to do better than over ninety-nine good people who have no need to say sorry.

Luke 15.4–7

Heavenly Father,

Creator of Heaven and Earth,

Thank you for letting me come into a different world, where I can experience new things.

Thank you for welcoming me into a safe and respectful environment, where I am not afraid to go out and have fun.

Help me to learn and see other people and their religions.

Help me to welcome everyone to the table, like you did to me.

I can understand more about the country and everyone’s faith.

I can respect them in what they believe.

Help me to be loyal to others and include them in what I do.

Guide me in peace and let my faith be shown in a respectful and global way.

Amen.

(Y6)

Creator of the globe,

Thank you for the differences of the world,

the different religions,

the different people,

and the different animals.

Because of these, you have made our lives different.

Thank you for the differences

of celebrations,

of cultures,

of places.

Because of these, you have made our lives more exciting.

Thank you for the differences,

of the trees,

of the birds,

of the environments.

Because of these, you have made our lives more beautiful.

Thank you for our differences

of food,

of music,

of languages

Because of these, you have made our lives more exotic.

Lord, we thank you,

for nature,

for people,

and for the entire world and galaxy.

Because of these, you have made our lives interesting.

Thank you, Lord.

Amen.

(Y6)

Creator of all people,

Help us to understand that everybody is different. Let us realise that nobody sees things in the same way. Guide us so that we can respect these differences, Lord.

People in this world have many different religions.

You want us to learn from other people’s beliefs, not despise them, or feel we should exclude people because they do not think the same things that we do.

We should treat people who are different from us with respect.

Help us to do this, Lord.

Thank you for making us all different:

Different languages,

Different religions,

Different appearances,

Different ideas.

You have made us unique, but we should not be enemies because of this.

Just because we are different, this does not mean we should be separate.

Help us to be one global family, Lord.

Amen.

(Y6)

We thank you lord that there are so many differences in the world.

Help us to understand the different religions in the world and help us not to mock or make fun of people because of their beliefs.

Everyone is different and we should accept that.

If people were the same then the world would be boring and everyone would be the same.

Please help me to appreciate those who are different.

Help me to understand everyone and help me to learn about different religions.

Please help those who fight just because people don’t like other religions.

Help us to unite as a family and stop fighting.

Amen

(Y6)

God our Father, creator of religions.

Help us to love and respect others,

To learn from others and also things around us.

Make us aware of variety and cultures,

Help us to respect that.

Open our lives to the objects around us.

We thank you for all the different places:

The London eye, tombs and Big Ben.

Make us realise that we are one global family.

We can learn from celebrations happening around the world,

Let us understand that.

We can learn from different foods,

Let us experience it.

We can also learn from the world,

Let us explore it.

(Y6)

Dear Mary,

In the Blessed month of May, I pray to you.

Thank you for diversity of differences and for variety.

Thank you for different religions, and making every one unique.

Thank you for different people, and every one being special in their own way.

Please help me to respect these different people more.

To treat the people different from me with kindness and truth.

And to always treat them with respect:

No matter what faith or religion they are.

Amen

(Y6)

Dear Lord

Creator of a loving global family,

Come help me to be respectful person to others.

Creator of a loving global family,

Thank you for making us all different and not the same.

Creator of a loving global family,

Help me to show respect and politeness to others and call us to live in peace.

Also thank you for making us with different personalities and different religions.

Please guide us through a peaceful and caring life as I experience different cultures.

Amen

(Y6)

Dear Almighty Creator,

Help us not to be overwhelmed by the powerful fear that embraces us of being different. Guide us so that everyone can live life to the fullest of being different and how we can learn from that.

Thank you for the love and respect you have given us to understand that everyone is different. Thank you for making us different so that we can enjoy our lives and to have an adventure.

Help us to acknowledge and understand our differences so that we can help and learn from each other. Help us to show our true personalities and not to be insecure about how we look or how we dress. At the end of it all we should be ourselves whatever the cost.

Amen

(Y6)