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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.

Friday 22 August 2014

THE QUEENSHIP OF MARY

This title for the mother of Jesus attempts to acknowledge her unique role in God’s plan. Though Queenship may not speak to a modern world, it remains strongly based in Catholic tradition, occurring in classic prayers and hymns like Salve Regina, Ave Regina Coelorum, and Regina Coeli. Perhaps in our time we can find new freshness in the metaphor by focusing on its unfolding meaning rather than its dated reference.

“The quality of our expectations determines the quality of our actions.”  (Andres Godin)

Saturday 23 August

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE REMEMBRANCE OF THE SLAVE TRADE & ITS ABOLITION

and ST ROSE OF LIMA

A day designated by UNESCO to memorialize the transatlantic slave trade. The horror of this chapter in human history may have been blunted by the passing of time, but its millions of abused souls can still enter our prayer today, as can the consequences that are playing out even now.

Rose of Lima became the first canonized saint of the Americas. Remembered for her combination of prayer and love for the poor, she only lived 31 years, spending the second half of her life as a Dominican. Her country, Perú, has an Edmund Rice Network including four Christian Brothers communities, two of these in Lima itself.

“An effective leader develops the ability to correctly identify the pertinent detail or details - incidentals in a market, industry or sport that might create an incremental advantage.”  (John Wooden)

Sunday 24 August

21st SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME and

ST BARTHOLOMEW

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 24 August (for the texts themselves).
  • – click Sunday Gospel Commentary (by Michael Chalmers cfc).
  • – click Gospel Commentary > click on 24 August.
  • – scroll to 24 August > Get to Know the Readings. (Also in Spanish.)
  • – click Sun. Bible Reflections under Daily Bread. (Also in Spanish.)

Bartholomew, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus, is often identified with Nathanael (of John’s Gospel). Tradition holds that his mission took him to India and that he died a martyr.

“A good example is the best sermon.”  (Benjamin Franklin)

Monday 25 August

ST JOSEPH CALASANCTIUS and

URUGUAY’S INDEPENDENCE DAY

José de Calasanz, as he is called in Spanish, lived in C16-17th, spending the latter two-thirds of his 90 years in Rome. He is seen as the founder of free public education in Europe, at a time when education was inaccessible to most people, and started a religious order for this ministry. His schools were notable for their inclusiveness, welcoming Jewish and Protestant children alongside Catholics. The curriculum was broad, holistic, and practical. In regard to discipline, Joseph pioneered the preventive approach, later developed by Don Bosco. Tragically the enterprise was ruined by child sexual abuse committed by a member of the Order, who used his family’s influence and ecclesiastical power to perpetrate his crimes with impunity, frustrating Joseph’s efforts to deal with the damage and blackmailing him with the threat of suppression of his Order. This is in fact what happened near the end of Joseph’s life; he died in disgrace and it was only eight years later that the name of his Order was cleared.

The Edmund Rice Network has a presence in Uruguay: Montevideo’s Colegio Stella Maris. This is the day Uruguay celebrates its independence from Brazil, which came as far back as 1825.

“The winds of grace are always blowing, but it is you that must raise your sails.”  (Rabindranath Tagore)

Tuesday 26 August

ST DAVID LEWIS

David Lewis was an Englishman martyred for practicing his priesthood in 17th Century England where fear of ‘a Popish plot’ was the bogeyman of the day. His feast might remind us to pray for all those who in our time are threatened and intimidated because of the practice of their religious faith.

“Our life is our prayer. It's our gift to the universe, and the memories we leave behind when we someday exit this world will be our legacy to our loved ones. The best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone around us is to find our joy and share it!”  (Anita Moorjani)

Wednesday 27 August

ST MONICA

The mother of St Augustine, whose feast day follows tomorrow. Born in what is now called Algeria, her character and her prayer were instrumental in the Christian transformation of both her husband and her son. Her story continues to be a light in the life of many distressed mothers, and perhaps today invites us to join them in their prayers for their children.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”  (Albert Schweitzer)

Thursday 28 August

ST AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

Augustine, famous as much for his conversion from a life of ‘debauchery’ as for his huge influence on Christian thought and theology, became a Bishop in the Roman Africa of the 4th/5th Centuries. His teachings are seen as landmarks in the history of the Church’s theology. Perhaps today we might pray for all who lead the intellectual vitality of our faith communities and for the energy to participate personally in this dimension of our faith.

“Without action, without decision, you remain in possibility, which is safe and beautiful but eventually enervating and boring.”  (Jennifer Louden)

Friday 29 August

EDMUND RICE’S ANNIVERSARY OF DEATH and

THE BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

Edmund Rice died on this day in 1844. In our prayer today, we might thank God for his life – a life that extends to this day through the countless groups and individuals who resonate to his spirit.

The story of the beheading of John is told in Matthew 14:1-12 and Mark 6:14-29, and this feastday is one of the earliest in Christian tradition. The fate of John illustrates the violence prompted by the fear that attends vested interests when confronted by courageous voices. We might pray today for all such courageous voices and for the gift of that same courage.

“Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Saturday 30 August

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE DISAPPEARED

A day to bring to mind people who have disappeared, imprisoned in undisclosed places and conditions – and their loved ones who are left in suspension and pain. In addition to secret imprisonment, estimated to be practiced in some 30 countries including the Philippines and Latin American nations, there are those who have disappeared and are presumed dead, whose families have never had the chance to bury them or reach closure.

“You must love yourself before you can love another.  By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.”  (Jane Roberts)

Sunday 31 August

22nd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME and

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO – INDEPENDENCE 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 31 August (for the texts themselves).
  • – click Sunday Gospel Commentary (by Michael Chalmers cfc).
  • – click Gospel Commentary > click on 31 August.
  • – scroll to 31 August > Get to Know the Readings. (Also in Spanish.)
  • – click Sun. Bible Reflections under Daily Bread. (Also in Spanish.)

We remember today the people of the Caribbean nation, Trinidad and Tobago, on the Edmund Rice map since 1948, as they celebrate their independence from Britain in 1962.

“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.”  (Louise Smith)

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

editor

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