RE11, Term 3, Week 6: Prayers and reflections

Marriage is Forever

"Some are called to holiness through family life in the Sacrament of Marriage. Today, there are those who say that marriage is out of fashion. Is it out of fashion? In a culture of relativism and the ephemeral, many preach the importance of "enjoying" the moment. They say that it is not worth making a life-long commitment, making a definitive decision "forever", because we do not know what tomorrow will bring. I ask you, instead, to be revolutionaries, to swim against the tide; yes, I am asking you to rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love. I have confidence in you and I pray for you. Have courage to "swim against the tide" And also have the courage to be happy" (Pope Francis to the volunteers at World Youth Day, July 28, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro). 

To do today: 

Treat everyone with respect, even if it means going against some of my friends. 

Journal Questions

  • Do I believe in marriage in the Church and do I believe in forever?
  • Do I recognise and defend the value of the traditional family? 
  • Do I believe in the doctrine of the Church on the family, intimacy and sexuality?
  • Am I committed to going against any destructive tendencies in today's society?

Let us pray: 

You, Lord, know me, and before I was born you had a plan for me. Illuminate my mind so that I may know your will for me. Let me follow you, even if that means at times going against the views of society, as I follow your plan for happiness in the love for a couple.

Pappalardo, Marco (2013). Have the courage to be happy. Toronto, Ontario: Novalis, pp 74-75.

What is best for me

"God always saves the best for us. But he asks us to let ourselves be surprised by his love, to accept his surprises. Let us trust God! Cut off from him, the wine of joy, the wine of hope, runs out. If we draw near to him, if we stay with him, what seems to be cold water, difficulty, sin, is changed into the new wine of friendship with him" (Pope Francis at Mass in the Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Conception of Aparecida, July 24, 2013).

To do today:

Spend some time today with Jesus in the Chapel, or at home alone ... or even on the bus or train. 

Journal Questions

  • When I thik of what is best for me, what does that really mean? 
  • Do I trust God, at least some of the time?
  • Can someone or something great still surprise me?
  • When life is hard, do I still have hope that things will work out? 

Let us pray: 

When I lose my way, Jesus, help me to follow you, to let you guide me. Help me guide my friends and those who are younger than me as together we seek the truth.

Amen.

Pappalardo, Marco (2013). Have the courage to be happy. Toronto, Ontario: Novalis, pp 14-15.

A precious gift

"I have neither silver nor gold, but I bring with me the mot precious thing given to me: Jesus Christ! I have come in his name, to feed the flame of fraternal love that burns in every heart; and i wish my greeting to reach one and all: The peace of Christ be with you!" (Pope Francis at the Welcome Ceremony in the Garden of Guanabara Palace, Rio de Janeiro, July 22, 2013).

To do today: 

I commit to be a blessing for all those I meet, and I promise to actively hope for the best for all the people in my life, even when we don't agree.

Journal Questions

  • What are the essentials that I carry in the backpack of my life?
  • What priceless things can I offer to those I meet every day?
  • Can I say that in my life I carry Jesus Christ with me?
  • Am I open to dialogue and to building friendships?

Let us pray:

Lord, help me to be a gift to others, let me be the fire that shows the light of your love, and Lord, bring peace to my daily life. Amen.

Pappalardo, Marco (2013). Have the courage to be happy. Toronto, Ontario: Novalis, pp 10-11.

The Special Ingredient

"For this reason, I say to everyone of you today: "Put on Christ!" in your life and you will find a friend in whom you can always trust; "put on Christ" and you will see the wings of hope spreading and letting you journey with joy towards the future; "put on Christ" and your life will be full of his love; it will be a fruitful life - because we all want to have a fruitful life, one that is life-giving for others" (Pope Francis at the Welcoming Ceremony for the Young People, Waterfront of Copacobana, July 25, 2013).

To do today: 

I commit to reading the Gospel and books that will help me get to know Jesus better so that I can be more active in my prayer at Mass.


Journal Questions:

  • Am I a witness to Jesus in everyday aspects of my life?
  • How can Jesus be a model for my life?
  • How do I cultivate my friendship with Jesus?
  • What does it mean for me to be a credible witness for Jesus? 

Let us pray: 

Help me, Lord, to open my mind and heart to your Word, so that I can get to know you better, and be both willing and glad to talk about you to my brothers and sisters. Amen.

Pappalardo, Marco (2013). Have the courage to be happy. Toronto, Ontario: Novalis, pp 36-37.