This Week in Prayer
INCLUSIVE SPIRITUALITY – This Week in Prayer
This weekly column – a prompt and a resource for your prayer and awareness – is specially intended to be helpful in preparing prayer for a community or group. You are welcome to alert us to upcoming special occasions within the Edmund Rice Network.
Monday 1 September 2014
START OF SOUTHERN SPRING & NORTHERN AUTUMN and
START OF THE NEW LITURGICAL YEAR IN EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH
The start of the ‘in-between seasons’, Spring and Autumn, in the different hemispheres, is pinned to 1 September. These seasons of change and adaptation might call us to review what changes are befalling or calling us and to respond with openness, energy, and grace.
As the last third of the year begins, bringing signs of seasonal change, Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church begin a new liturgical year – earlier than the tradition that takes Advent as the cycle’s new start. Today might prompt us to pray for the millions of Christians who have been brought up in this distinctive tradition.
“Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility and commitment.” (H. Ross Perot)
Tuesday 2 September
A NEW ACADEMIC YEAR APPROACHES
One of the starts associated with September is the new academic year in many parts of the world. As this approaches, we might pray for increasingly holistic values in our world’s education systems.
“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” (Plutarch)
Wednesday 3 September
ST GREGORY THE GREAT
Gregory is remembered for his particularly vigorous thirteen-or-so years as Pope, during which he seems to have left very few thoughts unpublished. Born in Rome and coming to the papacy from a monastic background, he is seen as standing on the border between East and West, and between the ancient and medieval worlds. He is a reminder for us of the awesome growth the Body of Christ through the ages has undergone.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” (Thomas Edison)
Thursday 4 September
CLEAR DAY (IN SCIENTOLOGY)
Scientology speaks of ‘Clear’ as that state of mind attained when a person has overcome the influence of unwanted emotions and is in control of mental energy. One of many models of human development, it might serve as a reminder to appreciate and welcome the progressive stages of growth we can see in ourselves and those around us. The birthstone of September happens to be the sapphire, standing for clear thinking.
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” (Rumi)
Friday 5 September
BLESSED TERESA OF CALCUTTA
Mother Teresa died 16 years ago at the age of 87, leaving a legacy of several groups devoted to hands-on service of the world’s poorest: her Sisters (the Missionaries of Charity, and their contemplative branch), a congregation of Brothers, three Lay groups, and a movement for Priests. Her style drew its share of criticism, but the authenticity of her wholeheartedness is unquestioned.
“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” (Henri Frederic Amiel)
Saturday 6 September
STILLBIRTH REMEMBRANCE DAY
Officially marked in much of North America, this day honours the thousands of babies who are stillborn, and is sometimes broadened to include other better-understood forms of pregnancy-loss and infancy-loss. In many cultures the days of “just not talking about it” have gone, and most people have some close experience of death during pregnancy or birth. In our prayer today we might join in this remembrance of children whose childhood was cut off before it began, and of the lasting grief of their mothers and those around them.
“The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence.” (Vince Lombardi)
Sunday 7 September
23rd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME and
THREATENED SPECIES DAY
Here are six places where you can find commentaries on this Sunday’s readings:
- On the right of our home page: find PRAYER GUIDE and click SUNDAY REFLECTION.
- - click Mass Readings > click on 7 September (for the texts themselves).
- – click Sunday Gospel Commentary (by Michael Chalmers cfc).
- – click Gospel Commentary > click on 7 September.
- – scroll to 7 September > Get to Know the Readings. (Also in Spanish.)
- – click Sun. Bible Reflections under Daily Bread. (Also in Spanish.)
Observed in Australia since 1996, Threatened Species Day reminds us of the vulnerability of creation, particularly to rash human practices. The growing international ‘red list’ of threatened species includes about 20% of all amphibians, about 10% of all mammals, and over 5% of all birds. Taking a lead from Australia, we might bring to our prayer today a concern for raised awareness and sensitivity.
“He who overcomes others has force; he who overcomes himself is strong.” (Lao Tzu)
For further websites and blogs that can support your prayer and reflection, click the PRIVATE REFLECTIONS button under PRAYER GUIDE on the right of our home page.
brother Michael Burke