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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: september

We pray that we all will make courageous choices for a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, rejoicing in our young people who are resolutely committed to this.

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What complicates your life? Every day we make choices about how we use our time, energy, and resources. Looking to Jesus’ life as a simple carpenter, we know that complexity is not what God desires for us. In our hearts we know that God calls us to a simple, liberating relationship with created things, but living this requires a perspective shift.

Consider the rich young man (Lk 18:18-23), who yearns to follow God and asks Jesus how he might do so. When the young man learns that he must part with all of his possessions, he walks away sad. In contrast, St. Francis of Assisi, a rich young man himself, underwent a radical conversion and walked away from his wealth with immense joy and freedom. This conversion to a life of simplicity requires a new perspective. As G.K. Chesterton remarks, “[Francis] looked at the world as differently from other men as if he had come out of that dark hole walking on his hands” (St. Francis of Assisi, 70).

I rejoice in today’s young people who have invited me to see differently. Many question how we relate to Creation. They seek freedom from habits of consumption and make sacrifices that open them to the “cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (LS, 49). They exemplify Pope Francis’ description of the Christian life “marked by moderation and the capacity to be happy with little. It is a return to that simplicity which allows us to stop and appreciate the small things, to be grateful for the opportunities which life affords us, to be spiritually detached from what we possess, and not to succumb to sadness for what we lack” (LS, #222). Let us ask for the grace to see differently!

Kevin Kuehl – Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: august

Let us pray for the Church, that She may receive from the Holy Spirit the grace and strength to reform herself in the light of the Gospel.

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The Church is always in need of renewal, as it is comprised of fallen human beings who strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ.

This is not only a personal renewal, but also an “ecclesial” renewal, guided by the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis wrote about this in his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium.

“Pope Paul VI invited us to deepen the call to renewal and to make it clear that renewal does not only concern individuals but the entire Church…The Second Vatican Council presented ecclesial conversion as openness to a constant self-renewal born of fidelity to Jesus Christ: ‘Every renewal of the Church essentially consists in an increase of fidelity to her own calling… Christ summons the Church as she goes her pilgrim way… to that continual reformation of which she always has need, in so far as she is a human institution here on earth.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 26)

This renewal does not mean the Church needs to abandon its past or moral teachings, but to dig deeper into it and soak herself in the rich soil of the Gospel.

Pope Francis sees this renewal as being more “mission-oriented,” making “ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open” (Evangelii Gaudium, 27)

This type of renewal seeks to encompass the whole world with the Gospel, fulfilling Jesus’ command to preach the Gospel to all nations.

May we do our part by seeking personal renewal in our hearts, always seeking to live by what is true, good and beautiful, united to God’s holy commandments.

Philip Kosloski – Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)