Tag Archives: Apostleship of Prayer

Pope’s Intentions for July 2014

1 Jul

Following are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francisprecious blood for the month of July, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Sports. That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
  • Lay Missionaries. That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.

July is also the month traditionally dedicated to the Precious Blood of Our Lord. Father Faber describes why we honor the Blood of Christ in Precious Blood: The Price of Our Salvation.

The Precious Blood of Jesus deserves special honor because of its close relation to Our Lord’s Passion. From the beginning the Apostles praised its redeeming power. Some biblical examples:

  • Romans 5:9 “we are justified by His blood”
  • Hebrews 13:12 “and so Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people by His blood, suffered outside the gate”
  • 1 John 1:7 “and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin”

Pope’s Intentions for June 2014

2 Jun

umemployedFollowing are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of June, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Unemployed. That the unemployed may receive support and find the work they need to live in dignity.
  • Faith in Europe.That Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers.

This month we honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus—not so much with our words but with our actions. For by our actions we show that our hearts are one with the Heart of Jesus.

What are the thoughts and feelings of Jesus’ Heart? In the Gospels we often read that the Heart of Jesus was “moved with pity” for the poor and suffering people who flocked to him (Matthew 9:36; 14:14; 15:32). Over the centuries the crowds have not diminished. They’ve increased. People continue to wander like sheep without a shepherd looking for relief. Now we, the Body of Christ, united in prayer with the Vicar of Christ, must hear their cries and respond as Jesus did.

Pope Francis cares about people who are left destitute “by unemployment which takes away their dignity as breadwinners.” He has said that this “physical destitution” often leads to the “moral destitution” of slavery “to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or pornography.”

At a conference last November, Pope Francis pointed out that the unemployment rate for young people under twenty-five is 40 percent or more. “This is a mortgage,” he said; “it is a mortgage on our future. And if it is not resolved soon, it guarantees a rather weak future—or no future at all.”

We share Pope Francis’ concern for individuals who are unemployed and robbed of their dignity. We are concerned for the future of our world if this affront to human dignity is not corrected. We share the love of the Heart of Jesus, “a love which is grace, generosity, a desire to draw near, a love which does not hesitate to offer itself in sacrifice for the beloved” (2014 Message for Lent). May the unemployed find support and may the causes of their plight be removed.

For reflection: How does unemployment relate to my duty to respect human life from conception to natural death?


Pope’s Intentions for May 2014

1 May

BVM iconFollowing are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of May, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Media. That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace.
  • Mary’s Guidance. That Mary, Star of Evangelization, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.

Regarding the second intention, the Apostleship of Prayer offers us this reflection:

According to the Gospel of John, Jesus’ turning water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana was the first sign of His divinity. The miracle “revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him” (2:11). Mary played a key role in this miracle. She told the servers, “Do whatever he tells you” (2:5). Today she says to us: “Do whatever he tells you.” What Jesus is asking of us now is to carry on His work of spreading the good news of God’s love wherever we go.

Pope Francis often refers to Mary as the one who guides the Church in the work of evangelization. He called her “the star and compass that leads to Christ” and the “bright star of our Christian walk.”

Speaking to the Pontifical Mission Societies, he quoted Pope Paul VI’s words: “May the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the Good News not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient, or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ, and who are willing to risk their lives so that the Kingdom of God may be proclaimed and the Church established in the midst of the world.”

In the conclusion of “The Joy of the Gospel,” Pope Francis writes: “Mary let herself be guided by the Holy Spirit on a journey of faith toward a destiny of service and fruitfulness. Today we look to her and ask her to help us proclaim the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples to become evangelizers in turn.”

During this month dedicated to Mary, we ask her help in the work of evangelization. Following her direction, let us offer ourselves to Jesus every day, praying that we may do everything he tells us. In that way, the water—the ordinary events of our lives—will be transformed into the wine of the Kingdom of God.

How has Mary been a guiding star in my life? How may she help me do what Jesus asks of me?

Pope Francis’ Intentions for April 2014

1 Apr

Following are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of April, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
  • Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The Church has traditionally recommended an increased devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist during the month of April.

“The Church in the course of the centuries has introduced various forms of this Eucharistic worship which are ever increasing in beauty and helpfulness; as, for example, visits of devotion to the tabernacles, even every day; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; solemn processions, especially at the time of Eucharistic Congresses, which pass through cities and villages; and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament publicly exposed . . . These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven, which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb ‘Who was slain.’” –Pope Pius XII

“The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. . . . It is the responsibility of Pastors to encourage, also by their personal witness, the practice of Eucharistic adoration, and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in particular, as well as prayer of adoration before Christ present under the Eucharistic species. . . . This practice, repeatedly praised and recommended by the Magisterium,is supported by the example of many saints. Particularly outstanding in this regard was Saint Alphonsus Liguori, who wrote: ‘Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.’The Eucharist is a priceless treasure: by not only celebrating it but also by praying before it outside of Mass we are enabled to make contact with the very wellspring of grace.” –Blessed John Paul II

Pope Francis’ Intentions for March 2014

1 Mar

St. JosephFollowing are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of March, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Respect for Women.   That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
  • Vocations.   That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate  their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.

In addition, since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Because of the special feast day of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. As Pope Leo XIII of happy memory wrote a little over a century ago, “It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well-grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself.”

One way to honor St. Joseph this month is to pray the Litany of St. Joseph, individually or as a family. And if you’re looking for good Lenten reading, you might consider Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph called Guardian of the Redeemer.

St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church and protector of the Holy Family, pray for us!

Pope Francis’ Intentions for January

3 Jan

ecumenism2Following are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of January, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Economic Development.   That all may promote authentic economic development that respects the  dignity of all peoples.
  • Christian Unity.   That Christians of diverse denominations may walk toward the unity  desired by Christ.

January is always a good month to pray for Christian unity, given the fact that Christian Unity Week is usually observed toward the end of the month.  January is also a good month to pray for the end of legalized abortion in this country and for a renewed respect for all human life, in observance of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22, 2014. For more information on that, check out the March for Life site.

Pope’s Intentions for September

2 Sep

woman prayingFollowing are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of September, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Value of Silence. That people today, often overwhelmed by noise, may rediscover the value of silence and listen to the voice of God and their brothers and sisters.
  • Persecuted Christians. That Christians suffering persecution in many parts of the world may by their witness be prophets of Christ’s love.
    I don’t know about you, but I was especially struck by the prayer that we rediscover the value of silence. Yet at the same time, the prayer calls us to listen to the voice of God as well as to the voice of our brothers and sisters, especially the cries of those who are undergoing persecution and hardship around the world. So the voice that needs to be silent is our own, so that the Lord may transform us.

  • Pope’s Intentions for August

    1 Aug

    Pope with childrenFollowing are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of August, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

  • Parents and Teachers. That parents and teachers may help the new generation to grow in upright conscience and life.
  • The Church in Africa. That the local Church in Africa, faithfully proclaiming the Gospel, may promote peace and justice.

    How appropriate it is that we especially remember the educators of our children as the new school year begins later this month!

  • Pope’s Intentions for June

    4 Jun

    Pope Francis2Following are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for the month of June, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

    • Mutual Respect. That a culture of dialogue, listening, and mutual respect may prevail among peoples.
    • New Evangelization. That where secularization is strongest, Christian communities may effectively promote a new evangelization.

    The Apostleship of Prayer provides some very helpful reflections to help us embrace the Pope’s intentions each month. Here is what the Apostleship of Prayer says about this month’s “mission intention”:

    The old evangelization looked to the mission fields far away. The new evangelization hits home. Pope Benedict said that the new evangelization is “directed principally at those who, though baptized, have drifted away from the Church and live without reference to the Christian life.” It seems every family has a story like that.

    In a General Audience last year, the former Pope spoke of this “drifting away from the Church” where “the truths of faith or religious rites are not denied but are merely deemed irrelevant…as though God did not exist.’”

    How shall we respond to this “drifting away” all around us? Pope Benedict said: “We cannot speak of the new evangelization without a sincere desire for conversion. The best path to the new evangelization is to let ourselves be reconciled with God and with each other. Solemnly purified, Christians can regain a legitimate pride in their dignity as children of God, created in his image and redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, and they can experience his joy in order to share it with everyone, both near and far.”

    We are called to be, in Pope Benedict’s words, “the true actors in evangelization, to show the beauty of the Gospel to those who are indifferent or even hostile,” to “invite, as it were, tepid believers, to live with the joy of faith, hope, and charity.”

    Jesus calls us, as He led the apostles, to be “fishers of people.” The bait we use is the witness of our lives. The new evangelization is to speak and act in the joy of faith, hope, and love.


    What are the characteristics of my life that “show the beauty of the Gospel” and invite others “to live with the joy of faith, hope and charity”?


    Luke 5:1-11 “Do not be afraid.”

    Prayer of the Month

    Holy Mary, star of the new evangelization, make us the light of the world. We receive Christ in the Eucharist; help us build the Kingdom in the world. Teach us to do whatever He tells us. May our study of His life lead us to love Him, and our love for Him lead us to imitate Him. If we are what we should be, we will set the world ablaze and affect the culture. We ask your intercession to make this so, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

    Pope’s Intentions for January

    1 Jan

    faith initiativeFollowing are the Intentions of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for the month of January, courtesy of the Apostleship of Prayer:

    • The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
    • Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East,  often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.

    For more on observing the Year of Faith here in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, click here.