Tag Archives: Apostleship of Prayer

Holy Father’s January Prayer Intention – Christian Unity

Christian Unity

That all Christians may be faithful to the Lord’s teaching by striving with prayer and fraternal charity to restore ecclesial communion and by collaborating to meet the challenges facing humanity.

For more information, please visit the Apostleship of Prayer’s website.

Apostleship of Prayer October Prayer Intentions

losser1Journalists

That journalists, in carrying out their work, may always be motivated by respect for truth and a strong sense of ethics.

 

losser2World Mission Day

That World Mission Day may renew within all Christian communities the joy of the Gospel and the responsibility to announce it.

 

For more information and reflections, please visit the Apostleship of Prayer’s Website.

Apostleship of Prayer September Prayer Intentions

noahsdad
NoahsDad.com

Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.

 

ignorance-of-Scripture-JeromeMission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.

Apostleship of Prayer: February Intentions

ApostleshipofPrayerThe Holy Father’s prayer intentions for the month of January as well as reflections by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J., National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer.

Care for Creation. That we may take good care of creation–a gift freely given–cultivating and protecting it for future generations. 

Life is a gift. Our very existence is a gift. We did not create ourselves nor are we chance products of blind forces of nature. And we are not God.

That may seem obvious, but from the beginning of human history, people have tried to be God. We see that even today in the way human beings use creation in ways that are contrary to God’s will. According to Genesis 2: 15, humanity was created to work with God, “to cultivate and care for” the earth. Pope Francis wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si: “Once we lose our humility and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.”

This month we begin Lent, a time of conversion. Let’s consider how we can
be humble stewards and not exploiters of creation. As a start, Pope Francis proposes we simply “stop and give thanks to God before and after meals.” Doing so “reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labors provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need.”

EVANGELIZATION INTENTION

Asia. That opportunities may increase for dialogue and encounter between the Christian faith and the peoples of Asia.

Early last year Pope Francis visited the Asian country of Sri Lanka where four major religions coexist: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Unfortunately ethnic and religious differences there have led to bloody conflicts. Meeting with representatives of these religions, the Pope said: “For the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war. We must be clear and unequivocal in challenging our communities to live fully the tenets of peace and coexistence found in each religion, and to denounce acts of violence when they are committed.”

All people are made in the image and likeness of God. God created everyone for eternal life—to be with God in the heavenly communion of saints. God desires this so much that he sent Jesus to shed his precious blood for the salvation of all. Thus all people are to be shown respect.In his speech, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of “dialogue, which is essential if we are to know, understand, and respect one another.” True dialogue requires honesty: “for such dialogue and encounter to be effective, it must be grounded in a full and forthright presentation of our respective convictions. Certainly, such dialogue will accentuate how varied our beliefs, traditions and practices are. But if we are honest in presenting our convictions, we will be able to see more clearly what we hold in common. New avenues will be opened for mutual esteem, cooperation, and indeed friendship.”

In true dialogue with non-Christians, we Christians need to listen respectfully, find common ground, and then in our turn to share the Gospel, in hopes that the Holy Spirit will open hearts to Jesus. We pray this month that opportunities for such sharing may increase in Asia, where Christians are in the minority.

Apostleship of Prayer: January Intentions

ApostleshipofPrayerThe Holy Father’s prayer intentions for the month of January as well as reflections by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J., National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer.

UNIVERSAL INTENTION

Interreligious Dialogue: That sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce the fruits of peace and justice. 

Since Pope Paul VI instituted it in 1967, every new year begins with the World Day of Peace. In a conversation with Japanese teachers and students, Pope Francis said: “It is impossible for peace to exist without dialogue. All the wars, all the strife, all the unsolved problems over which we clash are due to a lack of dialogue. When there is a problem, talk: this makes peace.”

But dialogue means more than talking at each other. It means listening. “And what is the deepest approach we should have in order to dialogue and not quarrel? Meekness, the ability to encounter people, to encounter cultures peacefully; the ability to ask intelligent questions. Listening to others and then speaking. All this is meekness.”

Jesus described his heart as meek and humble. As we ask him to make our hearts like his, we are asking to have the meekness that is the basis for encounter and dialogue—the way to peace.

When he visited Turkey, Pope Francis spoke of the “sacred character” of “human life, a gift of God the Creator.” He said: “Fanaticism and fundamentalism need to be countered by the solidarity of all believers. This solidarity must rest on the following pillars: respect for human life and for religious freedom.”

And he gave us the challenge that is behind our prayer this month: “The world expects those who claim to adore God to be men and women of peace who are capable of living as brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological differences.”

EVANGELIZATIstatic1.squarespace.comON INTENTION

Christian Unity: That by means of dialogue and fraternal charity and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, Christians may overcome divisions.

The world wonders if peace is possible when the followers of the Prince of Peace are divided and have for centuries and into the present killed one another over their differences. Unbelievers will have a hard time accepting Christianity as long as its adherents are divided.

Every year from January 18-25 we celebrate a time of intense prayer for Christian unity. At the conclusion of the 2014 week of prayer, Pope Francis said that “we may not regard divisions in the Church as something natural, inevitable in any form of human association. Our divisions wound Christ’s body, they impair the witness which we are called to give to him before the world.”

He quoted also the words of Vatican II’s decree on ecumenism: “…division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the sacred cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature.” And he added this comment: “We have all been damaged by these divisions. None of us wishes to become a cause of scandal.”

“And so we are all journeying together,” the pope continued, “fraternally, on the road towards unity, bringing about unity even as we walk; that unity comes from the Holy Spirit and brings us something unique which only the Holy Spirit can do, that is, reconciling our differences. The Lord waits for us all, accompanies us all, and is with us all on this path of unity.”

It has been fifty years since the Second Vatican Council ended. Are we any closer to unity? Or are we further apart? The world urgently needs Christian witness which demonstrates that conflicts can be overcome through dialogue and charity. As we pray, we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s power that alone can bring about unity.

December Intentions: Experiencing God’s Mercy

MErcyIconPope Francis boldly stated that, “No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one. Its doors remain wide open, so that those who are touched by grace can find the certainty of forgiveness.” By proclaiming a Jubilee Year of Mercy the Holy Father has emphasized the importance of mercy in our times. In this age, the Year of Mercy is a truly extraordinary opportunity for all to spread God’s merciful love to those who desperately seek it.

The Holy Father has asked the Apostleship of Prayer to pray specifically for people who desire God’s mercy in his universal intention for the month of December. He asked for all members to pray, “that all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of forgiving” and “that families, especially those who suffer, may find in the birth of Jesus a sign of certain hope.” In presenting these two intentions, Pope Francis is noting  the appropriateness of having the Year of Mercy begin within the context of the Advent season which gives ApostleshipofPrayerus hope in Christ who became a child out of His merciful love.

The IRL has taken Pope Francis’ charge seriously and is celebrating this Year of Mercy by commissioning an icon written by Vivian Imbruglia. This beautiful icon has been utilized in the creation of several devotional items. You can download a Year of Mercy catalogue sheet featuring special icon triptych cards, prayer cards, Gospel of Mercy devotional book, icon prints and greeting cards. These devotional items are a tangible way in which you can open wide the door of mercy to all people.

 As we prepare to begin the Year of Mercy, let us all work to spread this most necessary message in our time. Let us imitate Pope Francis during the Year of Mercy who encouraged the faithful to “allow God to surprise us. He never tires of throwing open the doors of his heart. He loves us and wants to share his love with us.”