For Doing God’s Will
Loving God, I cannot live without You. Help me to think and act rightly that I may always live as You would have me live. Teach me to recognize Your holy will, to search it out, and then to follow it with all my mind, heart, body and soul. If I should stray from the path You have set for me, direct me back, Loving God, and show me the way. Give me your grace daily that each day I may start anew to respond to You. Help me recognize Your hand in the daily events of my day, and in the people You have given me to love and sustain me. Holy God, Mighty God, may I live as You would have me live, this day and always. Amen.”
A Prayer for My Parish
“Holy Spirit, my Guide and Counselor, I ask your blessing in my parish. May our priests and other leaders continue to be living witnesses of your presence among us. May all of us grow spiritually and follow your gospel faithfully. In particular, may our weekly worship bind us closer to one another in faith and give you glory and praise. May each family, from the youngest to the oldest: each baby, each child, each teenager, each parent, each elderly one among us, be especially blessed by you. May all of our families truly be “little churches” that daily give you thanks and praise. Thank you for my parish; thank you for my faith. Amen.”
Wisdom teaches us that there are a variety of lifestyles we can take as we worship God. Not everyone can be an ascetic, not everyone a priest, etc. We must be open to God’s will in our lives. We need to heed God’s call and His will for our lives.
We have the story of the raising of the son of the widow from Nain. Realizing the plight of a sonless widow in that society, Jesus also restores life to a desperate widow. Luke also notes the reaction of the crowd. They break out in praise of God because a great prophet has arisen among them and God has looked with favor on His people. Often, when terrible things happen, like today’s gospel story or the recent hurricane, we sense the absence of God. By restoring the son to his mother, Jesus restores belief in the presence of God. Compassionate believers must communicate the presence of God in the world like those volunteers are doing to assist the victims of the storm.
“As my day draws to a close, Loving God, I thank You for all the good things this day has brought. I thank You, too, for the challenges and difficulties, for these were opportunities for me to grow and change as You would have me do. Forgive me, please, for the times I have failed to walk in the footsteps of Jesus this day. Forgive me if I have hurt or offended anyone, and give me the courage to face my limitations. I need Your help and I rely on You. Without You who knows what I might do! May I rest in You this night, and may I fall asleep knowing that You hold me in Your loving embrace. May a good night’s sleep refresh me to begin anew tomorrow to love and serve You and others. Amen.”
Living a life of stewardship should be an everyday goal of everyone in the parish. And, it starts with prayer which takes us into God’s presence and prepares us to obey Him. Prayer softens our hearts and changes us so we desire to give more of our time and talents to others in our lives and parish. As we become more like Christ, we want to give back to the Church and to God as a “thank You” for the richness in blessings that we have received. “A spiritual life without prayer is like the Gospel without Christ.” (Henri Nowen)
This memorial falls one day after the Feast day of the Exaltation of the Cross and reminds us of Mary’s suffering during Jesus’ passion and death. Michelangelo’s Pieta and the hymn, Stabat Mater, are artistic representations of Mary’s grief.