Special Prayers from Parishioners and Others

Prayer for the Nation

Almighty God, You have given us this good land for our heritage. We humbly ask You that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Your favor and glad to do Your will. Bless our land with honorable endeavor, sound learning and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties and fashion into one united people the multitude brought here out of many nations and tongues. Endow with the Spirit of wisdom those to whom in Your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Your law we may show forth Your praise among the nations on earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble do not allow our trust in You to fail. Amen.

~~ by Thomas Jefferson, taken from "Prayers for Today," published by Leaflet Missal Company

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Posted 9-9-20: Many thanks to The Word Among Us for allowing us to use this material

Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight. (Sirach 27:30)

Grudges. We’ve all carried them. At some point, each of us has been hurt by a friend, family member, or coworker. We can feel wounded and hold onto our anger, to the point where it defines us as a victim. But our first reading tells us this is not a healthy response.

When Sirach wrote these words two thousand years ago, he was clued into something that modern psychologists are only now coming to understand. Withholding forgiveness affects our physical and mental health. It can elevate our blood pressure, disrupt our sleep, and weaken our immune system. It can decrease our ability to trust people and reinforce a negative mindset about life. Why would we “hug tight” to these things that harm us? Only forgiveness can help us loosen our grip.

When we choose to forgive, even if the offender doesn’t ask for forgiveness, we stop being that “wronged person.” We overcome the stress and bitterness and negativity that were wrapped around us. Best of all, we open ourselves up to the Lord’s healing.

God knows everything we’ve gone through: the ways we’ve been hurt and the ways we’ve hurt the people around us. He forgives us, like the master in today’s Gospel. If we can let God’s forgiveness soften our hearts and break through our guilt, shame, and sadness over the hurts we have caused, we will find the grace to act the same toward the people who have hurt us.

If you’re struggling with a grudge or offense, bring it to God in prayer. Ask him to help you release your hold on anger, even if you feel justified. Forgive the person who hurt you even if you can’t physically reconcile with them. Let the act of forgiveness bring you peace and help you move on.

“Father, help me to let go of wrath and anger.

I don’t want to refuse mercy to anyone.

Teach me how to forgive!” 

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Together With Jesus from Sunday Sept 6, 2020 (2017)23rdSunday in Ordinary TimeEzekiel 33:7-9; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9; Rom1 3 : 8-10 Matthew 18:15-20You . . . I have appointed watchman. (Ezekiel 33:7)
Just as God appointed Ezekiel as a watchman for “the house of Israel,” so has he appointed parents to watch over their own “house,” their family (Ezekiel 33:7). Like a prophet, their role is to hear from God, to encourage their children, to warn them about sin, and to help them livein a way that pleases the Lord. This call isn’t limited to parents, either. God wants all of us to be looking out for each other. Being a watchman can feel overwhelming. The very word “watch” means to guard and protect. In the case of parents especially, God has entrusted them with their children’s physical welfare and their eternal welfare. How can anyone ever live up to such expectations?Through intercession. Parents know they cannot control every aspect of their children’s lives. There are limits totheir influence, especially as their children mature and strike out on their own. But there is no limit to the power of prayer!Interceding for your family is not a waste of time. You may have a very long list if you include your brothers and sisters andyour grandchildren. Still, make it a point to pray for each of them by name, and be specific about the intention you are praying for. Then, offer a prayer for everyone: “Lord, protect and guide my family. Bless them and protect them from evil. Fill them with your peace and your love.”How powerful are the prayers of a watchman? Just ask Jesus. On the night before he died, he prayed for the strength to endure the cross. He prayed for the protection of his apostles. He prayed for all of us (John 17:1-26).Two thousand years later, his prayers are still being answered.So imitate Jesus, the great Watchman of his Church. Commit your family to the care of your heavenly Father. God will never let you down.“Lord, help me to watch over my family.I trust in your protection.”
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Our staff was blessed to hear Sister Miriam James Heidland at the 2019 Parish Day of Renewal. Her message applies to anyone, and it is hoped that visitors to this website will enjoy and benefit from time viewing it, especially starting at about the "4 minute" mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bkFFZJ8kXg&list=PLN5kNnZkZI1BGNS8N8oM4pBSf0rvC6DJn&index=2

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PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF GOD

- submitted by Gerry Connell

Back in 2012 I wrote out a Scripture Passage and an exercise for the Fellowship that I do using Eph. 6: 10-18. I pass it along to you now in the hope that, sparked by the Holy Spirit, Our Lord uses it to reveal Himself more fully to you, especially as we protect ourselves with God’s graces during this challenging time.

Eph. 6: 10-18: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

 I picture Jesus giving me each piece of armor, actually gripping “the shield” with my left hand, taking up ‘the sword’ in my right, etc.

In the evening, I often review how well I have worn the armor ... how truthful was I? How well did I bring peace to someone or an incident? Did I protect and defend someone, or did I share in humor at their expense? It’s not intended to be an conscience examination exercise, but I think it follows that line of thought.

MORNING PRAYER: PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF GOD:

 In your name, Jesus, and by Your authority, I put on Your armor, Lord.

I accept from You and put on Your belt of truth.

I acknowledge that You are The Way, The Truth and The Life, that I may be truthful in all that I do this day;

that I may recognize Your truth in all areas of my life and relationships; that I may be true to my spouse, myself and to You.

I accept from You and put on Your breastplate of righteousness.

I acknowledge that You are my righteousness.  Help me to live out Your values and discard any values that are not of Your will. Grant me a softened heart to receive Your love and allow that love to change me; that everything that is right and true comes by You and through You; that I am only right in You.

I accept from You and shod my feet with Your footwear of peace,

that I may go where You want to take me today, that I may walk with and support others in their effort for peace, that I may seek out those in need of You and Your love today, that I may be swift in leaving areas of temptation and not stumble and fall.

I accept from You and put on Your helmet of salvation.

Thank You, Lord, for saving me, not just for eternity (though that would be enough), but for saving me from foolishness and sin … keeping me from destroying the relationships that are so dear.

Thank You for Your love and friendship, that my mind be protected by Your thoughts for me and others and not occupied by those of the world, I do pray for and accept Your gifts of wisdom, knowledge and discernment and the courage to act on them to bring You glory this day

I accept from You and take up Your shield of faith, that I may protect and defend myself and others from the fiery darts of Satan. Help me to recognize hate, fear, despair, discouragement and loss of hope and use Your shield wisely.

I accept from You and take up Your sword of Your Spirit – Your holy word, the Scriptures, that I may cut through the jungle of lies and deceit, that I may see You more clearly, that I may defend myself and others against hatred and violence.

Please grant me confidence in Your protection, and may You be worshipped and glorified in all Your works You do through me and all of Your people today.                                                                                                                                         

 

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Note: This exercise was submitted by Elaine Cervera and consists of the two vertical, blue boxes (not side-by-side as stated in text of larger box...)