Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Praying Together

In my box at the Cathedral on Sunday I found a complimentary copy of a very nicely hard-bound book entitled The Words of John Paul II: An Inspiring Collection of His Thoughts and Prayers, published by Liberia Editrice Rogate. So, I brought it home and have been praying with John Paul II this week. This morning I came across a prayer for community, which I am working hard to foster in our parish. It spoke to the hurts and disappointments I know that several in our parish are presently enduring. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit led me to this wonderful prayer by a true mystic, pastor, and father who, without doubt, continues to intercede for us and for his successor, collaborator, and dear brother, Pope Benedict XVI. He is no doubt interceding in a most fervent way this week, as Pope Benedict makes his pilgrimage in Turkey and on this day in particular, on which Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass in the house of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ephesus, where, we have little reason to doubt, she ended her earthly pilgrimage and to whom Karol Wojtyla was totally and completely dedicated (Totus Tuus). Undoubtedly he will be asking the Blessed Mother to foster trust and understanding, which leads to peace between Christians and Muslims, joined by the martyr, Fr. Andrea Santoro. We can be certain that John Paul II will be joined in heavenly intercession to the Blessed Virgin, Theotokos, by Blessed John XXIII, Paul VI, and Patriarch Athenagoras for full and visible communion between the Churches of the East and the West. Dear friends we must make his prayer our prayer, on both a universal and local level. Therefore, let us also pray for our parishes and commit ourselves to building truly Christian communities of agapé, truth, peace, that foster unity and community among all people in our respective cities, towns, and communities.

"Let us pray God,
who in Jesus Christ wished to unite all men
in a single community of salvation,
to grant that his disciples may bear witness
to unity in our time.
Let us therefore repeat:
Blessed are you, O Lord.
Lord, you sent your Only Begotten Son
to redeem and save all humanity.
Blessed are you, O Lord.
You gave us your Spirit,
you gather us in our communities.
Blessed are you, O Lord.
You wish all people to be your holy people;
you dispense gifts and talents
and call
[us] to the unity of one body.
Blessed are you, O Lord.
Grant, O Lord, that we may turn to you
with confidence as the Father,
and say with one heart: Our Father".
Amen.

A Litany for the week:

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
St. Joseph, pray for us
Sts. Peter and Paul, pray for us
St. John, Beloved Disciple, pray for us
St. Andrew, pray for us
St. Bartholomew, pray for us
St. Stephen, pray for us
St. Basil, pray for us
St. Gregory Naziansus, pray for us
St. Gregory of Nyssa, pray for us
St. Benedict, pray for us
St. Martin of Tours, pray for us
Sts. Francesco and Chiara, pray for us
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Little Flower, pray for us
Blessed Pope John XXIII, pray for us
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us
Pope Paul VI, pray for us
Patriarch Athenagoras, pray for us
Pope John Paul II, pray for us
Fr. Andrea Santoro, pray for us
All holy men and women, pray for us

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