Diocese of Lansing, Year of Prayer
The Apostle Paul reminds us to “pray unceasingly.” (1 Thess 5:17) Certainly, we all have concerns we bring to God in prayer. But during our diocesan Year of Prayer, we invite everyone in the diocese to focus on a particular intention for an entire month.
Remember it in your private prayer. Ask the intercession of Mary and the saints when you participate in devotional prayer. Offer your daily labor or a day of fasting. Add an intercession to those you offer in your liturgical celebrations. Use one of the prayers on the following pages to begin a parish meeting, class, or the school day. Or simply take the time each day to recite the prayer, perhaps adding an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.
September 2012 – For all children
You came into the world as a child
and, under the loving protection of Mary and Joseph,
you grew in wisdom, age, and grace.
You welcomed little children to come to you,
believed in their dignity,
and held them up as a model for all who were seeking the kingdom of God.
Send your blessings upon all children.
May they be recognized as children of our one Father.
Give them health and happiness,
protect them from those who would harm them,
and help them to grow in faith
that they may grow ever closer to you. Amen.
Last month, we spoke about the Morning Offering, which has long ago fallen into disuse. Have you begun to recite it daily? You will be amazed at the perspective it begins to give you on your daily activities. I encourage you to make that short but powerful prayer a part of your daily life.
This month, I want to look at another prayerful exercise that can help you recall that you are truly living in the presence of God. It will elicit thoughts of thanksgiving and hope as you go throughout your day. For centuries, the members of the Catholic Church recited the Angelus prayer daily. Often it was prayed at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m – in the fields, at your desk, in the kitchen, wherever you were. The idea was to frame the day with a prayer of thanks for God’s greatest gift – the Word, the Son of God.
The more we incorporate this prayer into our daily schedule, the more conscious we become of God’s presence, of his great love for us, of our call to render him thanks for the unspeakable gift of his mercy. In praying this prayer, I remind myself that I am not alone – that the God who gave me his only Son, is with me.
This prayer will increase your faith. It is a prayer of thanksgiving and praise. It is also a prayer in which we ask God to make us worthy of his promises! We pray, “Be it done unto me, according to your word…” Mary’s prayer can become ours. “May we (you and I) be made worthy of the promises of Christ.” Make that petition your own.
Another suggestion for this month: List from Scripture the promises that God makes in the Gospels. God never lies. His promises are true. Remember that as you read and pray.
Perhaps you want to begin by reciting the Angelus once a day at one of the three times recommended: morning, noon and night. Then add a second and a third time in your daily routine as you are able in the months to come. It’s like a little oasis in the middle of the desert of frantic activity. It helps you to recall the presence of God and be grateful.
It is good and important to learn from the wisdom of the Church. Don’t discard something just because it is old. Remember what the Scripture tells us about the wise steward who learned how to take from his storehouse both the old and the new. (cf Matthew 13:52)
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary ...
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary ...
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Prayer Intentions for the Year of Faith
During each of these months, please pray especially for these intentions of our diocese.
September – for all children
October – for migrants
November – for the dead
December – for consecrated men and women
January 2013 – for a greater respect for human life
February – for the forgiveness of sins
March – for our Elect, candidates and Inquirers
April – for all married couples and families
May – for those who are single, divorced and widowed
June – for all clergy
July – for those who are ill and for medical professionals
August – for teachers and catechists
September – for all liturgical ministers, including musicians
October – for all college students and young adults
November – for those in prison
December 9, 2013 – in Thanksgiving for all that God has done for this diocesan Church.
Sister Ann Shields