|The Reflections section contains the
||All of the
Reflections can be found in the Archives for anyone
interested in looking them up.
Today, Sunday 18th April we have 2448 people from all over the world and from many Christian and some non-Christian denominations joining together in prayer.
This week I thought it might be good to discuss good health and welfare. The reflection for this week from Bob and Debbie Gass of The Word for Today is simply called ‘Unforgiveness’
Last week we looked at the wonderful Mercy of God and all week I’ve been thinking about forgiveness. Many of you have heard me talk of the tiny 800+ year old chapel not too far from us here and the Thursday Healing the Family Tree Mass and hour’s Eucharistic Adoration afterwards. It is a Mass and prayers for the souls of our ancestors who may still be on that final journey home, and also for the souls of those who have no one to pray for them, or those who are most in need of prayer. Father tells us that so many souls are in Purgatory through lack of forgiveness. And, when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The one and only prayer given to us by Jesus is the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father.
“And it came to pass that as he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him: Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said to them: When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.” Lk 11:1-4)
And so we pray:
Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth AS it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Do you know what is one of the most powerful words in that prayer? It’s the word AS!
In the first AS we agree with the Father to allow His will to be done on earth just as it is in Heaven. We submit to His will allowing Him to work through us. It is a prayer of submission to Him. It is not asking Him to do things according to our will, but rather according to His will. Sometimes this means that prayers are not answered as we would like them to be. However, the Father will always answer our prayers BUT ALWAYS in a way that is best for us.
The second AS is probably the most important word ever. ‘Forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us’. We are asking the Father for forgiveness, yes, but in the same measure that we forgive others. WOW! That is some thought. If we can’t forgive others then how can God forgive us until we do so, as we pray?
It reminds me a little of a sink full of dirty water. Until we remove the plug and let it all run out then we can’t turn on the tap to let in lovely clean water. That plug is our holding on to grudges and unforgiveness and we are the only ones with the ability to unplug the sink. I’m convinced that our spiritual health, welfare and well-being often dictates our physical and mental health, welfare and well-being. Unforgiveness is almost like the sink of dirty water and it affects us in all sorts of ways. We might have grievances buried deeply and forgotten them, or we go through life holding onto those grievances. They block the way to peace and much more importantly they block the way to God’s Grace, both for ourselves and for those we are not willing to forgive. Keeping that plug in place stops the ‘clean water’ of Grace from flowing to us and to them. Forgiveness is healing and forgiveness also allows God to ‘do His thing’ in the hearts of the one we need to forgive.
During the Mass, and after the Consecration, we pray the Our Father. It is no coincidence that the prayers for peace follow. It has become a new tradition, since the Mass changed from Latin into the vernacular, to wish those near to us in church a sign of peace. I’ve been at Masses where the congregation flits noisily all over the place shaking hands with people next to them, in front of them, behind them and across the aisles from them. And sometimes I wonder how much more powerful would be that prayer for peace if we were to be asked to reflect quietly on the need to forgive. How can we wish peace to total strangers and not be at peace with a spouse, son, daughter, family member, friend, neighbour, work colleague, public or religious leader, even ourselves, in fact anyone who may have hurt us?
I personally think a great way to prepare for Mass, church or our prayer time is to ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind anyone in our lives that we need to forgive and to ask for the strength and courage to be able to do so. And then when we pray the Lord’s Prayer we can focus on that person. It’s not easy to forgive, especially when we feel totally justified in the grievance. But we need to look at our role model here – Jesus Himself – ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’. Here we are, back to the Passion of Christ again! Amazing how much that very act of redemption affects our lives, isn’t it?
No matter how great the hurt, how big the assault against us, it will never, ever measure up to the totality of all the world’s sins. Jesus accepted every lash, endured every thorn and went to the Cross for the sins of the world – every sin committed and yet to be committed – and gave us forgiveness. He bore no grudge or grievance. How then can we refuse to forgive? So, as we discussed before about joining our suffering to Christ, we need too to be able to join our forgiveness to Christ’s. And if we find this difficult, then we need to pray for the ability to forgive.
I read the following little piece this morning:
“Our King loves all His people and wants us all to be with Him eventually in His Kingdom. Is the pain He allows His followers to bear a sign to us, a way of indicating to us who needs help? Is allowing the pain a way God has of asking us to pray for the inflictors of it? Who else but true followers of Jesus would react in this unworldly and foolish seeming way? He asks us not to do what would seem sensible, what would be the natural reaction, but He asks us to respond with incredible, amazing love.
I begin to look at each person who hurts me as a gift, as a request from the One I love most to pray for that individual. Though their intention in causing me pain is not honourable of course, my Lord asks me to pray for them and He deepens my heart’s ability to love and bear pain and thus I grow stronger through their actions. So Jesus brings good out of what was meant only to wound.
I also came to realise that this sincere prayer for someone who has wronged me is the beginning of my forgiveness for that person, and certainly is the beginning of my being forgiven of my own sins by God. I had always believed that someone wronging me would have to accept my forgiveness before I could give it. No! I may give my forgiveness, and in that giving my own heart is cleansed and purified. But, whether the other can benefit and be healed also by accepting my forgiveness is not up to me or within my control. That I have forgiven regardless of whether the other accepts my forgiveness or not frees me, joyously frees me!”
So there you have it, a tough one to understand, a tough one to put into action but oh, how it brings us true freedom and peace. I’m leaving the link below to the Divine Mercy prayers of this more recent devotion of a teaching that is as old as life itself. The lovely prayers can be found from the history page. The Divine Mercy celebrations last Sunday were just beautiful and the young Franciscan who said Mass here in Galway City was brilliant. You’d stand out in the snow to listen to him, God Bless his cotton socks, and may the Holy Spirit continue to use him in this blessed and powerful way. We hear that at the Shrine in Knock there were over 100 Priests! It’s great to see this lovely devotion spreading – the Mercy of God – glorious.
Next week we move into the month of May, one of two months in the year (with October) that we as Catholics devote to Mary as the Month of the Rosary. Next week, DV, we’ll look at the history of this beautiful prayer, its efficacy and its richness of tradition found in the Scriptures.
God Bless ‘till then,
Mary in Galway
"CONFESS YOUR FAULTS ONE TO ANOTHER, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED" JAMES 5:16
Jesus said, 'When you offer your gift to God at the altar and you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift ... Go and make peace... then come and offer your gift' (Matthew 5:23-24 NCV). It’s pointless to pray for other things until you’ve first made things right with those you need to forgive, or ask forgiveness from.
But what if it’s impossible to be reconciled because the person has died? You can’t get a hearing, yet you’re still troubled about it. Here’s a suggestion: share your feelings with somebody you trust - a spouse, a counsellor, a pastor. Be specific and completely honest. Pray with them, openly confessing your wrongs and the guilt you feel. You’ll be surprised at how prayer and the presence of an understanding, affirming friend, can provide the relief you so desperately seek.
After David had indirectly murdered Uriah, Bathsheba’s husband, his guilt was enormous. Adultery and hypocrisy just about wiped him out. When he could take it no more, he broke his silence and sought God’s forgiveness. But Uriah wasn’t around to hear his confession; he’d been dead almost a year. So the broken king called on the prophet Nathan and poured out his soul saying, 'I have sinned... ' Nathan listened patiently, then said, 'The Lord has taken away your sin... ' (2 Samuel; 12:13 NIV).
When you’ve hurt somebody, have the heart of a servant. Stop, make things right and then move forward with confidence.
Two little reminders again for this week - Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations, let's try and make it 1,000,000 hours of Adoration in 2004! You can log in your hours online at their own website below or do as we did here in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel, print off the poster and the forms and leave them in your own Chapel of Adoration, sending in the numbers every week via the website below.
Here's the Vocations website.
And don't forget those prayers for the Holy Souls, there are some below. Please keep your deceased relatives, friends, neighbours and especially those who have no one to pray for them, in your prayers and at Masses you attend.
Here's the Holy Souls Crusade website,
And below is a great little morning prayer to start the day off and help us to keep focused on the Lord.
May God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless you and yours and may Mary keep you in Her heavenly mother's care.
Mary Mullins in Galway, Ireland
Our Father Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen
Jesus, I give You my hands to do Your work
in me O Holy Spirit that my thoughts may all be holy;
"O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me, tell me what I should do. Give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your will. Amen"
Chaplet of the Holy Souls
This Chaplet can be prayed on a set of Rosary Beads.
Begin with: The Creed, then 1 Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be for the Pope’s intentions.
On Large Beads Pray:
O holy souls draw the fire of God’s Love into my soul to reveal Jesus crucified in me, here on earth, rather than hereafter in Purgatory.
On Small Beads Pray:
Crucified Lord Jesus have mercy on the souls in Purgatory
End with: Glory Be three times
Cardinal Newman’s Prayer for the Holy Souls
O most gentle heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on the souls of Your servants. Bring them from the shadows of exile to Your bright home in Heaven, where we trust You and Your Blessed Mother have woven for them a crown of unfolding bliss. Amen.
Prayer of St. Gertrude for the Holy Souls
Eternal Father, I offer you the Most Precious Blood of your Divine Son, Jesus, in union with all the masses said throughout the world today for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."
Prayer for Your Family
"O Dear Jesus, I humbly implore You to grant Your special graces to our family this day. In Your Divine Mercy make our home a shrine of peace, love and faith. I beg You, Dear Jesus, to protect and bless all of us and our families absent and present, living and dead. O Mary loving Mother of Jesus and our Mother, pray to Jesus the Divine Mercy for our family, and for all the families of the world. Ask Him to guard the tiny infant in the womb, the cradle of the newborn, the young in the schools and those about to start their vocations in life. Amen"
Prayer for Your Adult Children
"Heavenly Mother, keep us always in mind of Your Son's great mercy and understanding as we pray for our children. They are grown up now and have left us and are living their own lives according to their own ideals. We feel anxious and worried because they do not seem to feel the need for Christ. to understand the wisdom of His ways, or to be fully at ease with us or themselves. Intervene, dearest Mother, in their lives at the moment You know to be right and help them to understand the things that lead to their peace. Help them to see the need of Christ and to experience the greatness of His love, so that we may all proclaim as You did, that His mercy truly is from generation to generation. Amen"
Prayer to Saint Joseph, Patron Saint of Families
"Good Saint Joseph, Your life and love protected and nourished the Mother of God and Jesus Christ, her son. Your fatherly care led to maturity He through whom all creation began. Through your intercession, may God guide and protect all human life from conception to natural death, and lead our nation in the ways of truth and love. Pray for us, good Saint Joseph, that joined with Christ Jesus, we might give praise to God forever. Amen"
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS & THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I consecrate myself and my whole family to You. We consecrate to You our very being and all our life, all that we are, all that we have and all that we love. To you we give our bodies, our hearts and our souls. To You we dedicate our home and our country.
Mindful of this consecration we now promise you to live the Christian way by the practice of Christian virtues without regard for human respect. O most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary accept our humble confidence and this act of consecration by which we entrust ourselves and our family to you. In you we put all our hope, we shall never be confounded. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary pray for us.
Prayer for the World
"JESUS of NAZARETH has triumphed over Death. His Reign is Eternal. He is coming to conquer the world and the time.
God on those who blaspheme You,
God, for the scandal in the world,
God, on those who run away from You
"Mercy, my God, on those who come to repent at the foot of the Glorious Cross. May they find Peace and Joy in God our Saviour.
God, so that Your Kingdom may come, but save souls, there is still time;
for the time is near, behold, I am coming.
Come, Lord Jesus."
Recite one decade of the Rosary
"Lord, pour out on the whole world the treasures of Your Infinite Mercy."
the Mystery of Your Holy Incarnation,
Your Baptism and Holy Fasting,
Your Cross and Passion,
Your Death and Burial,
Your Holy Resurrection,
Your Admirable Ascension,
the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete,
Him whose Name reigns eternal,
Prayer of Protection
Blessed Michael the Archangel, protect us in the hour of conflict. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God restrain him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Oh Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the Power of God, thrust satan down to hell and with him all the wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen
All of the Reflections to date are available to read in the Archives on the website for anyone who's interested.
Intentions are available on a plain page to be able to print off and kept
to hand for your own prayer time. The list has become too long now to
include each week but please say the
"Father, bless all those who have requested prayers in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! Father, we ask You to heal the broken bodies, broken minds, broken spirits, broken hearts and broken marriages and may all their lives be full of Your peace, prosperity, and power as they seek to have a close relationship with You. Amen."
"Thank You Jesus for answering our prayers because we know You hear every prayer and never refuse to answer. You are providing answers and healings from the prayers of all these wonderful people. Praise God!"
May God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bless and guide you and yours and may Mary keep you in Her heavenly mother's care.
Mary in Galway
'The fruit of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; the fruit of faith is love; the fruit of love is service; the fruit of service is peace.' (Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta)
some of the other areas of Moytura's web site.
Mary Mullins, Cregmore, Claregalway, County Galway, Ireland.
Phone: +353 91 798407