A Daily Reading From The Bible:(click on scripture)
Holy Mother of God, hear the prayers of the
Church for all mothers,
especially those wearied by life and overcome by the suffering they bear for their
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, intercede for them from your place in heaven,
that the mercy of your divine Son might lighten their burden and give them strength.
Glory to the Father....
"As we contemplate this Mother, whose heart a sword has pierced (cf. Luke 2:35), our thoughts go
to all the suffering women in the world, suffering either physically or
morally. In this suffering a woman's sensitivity plays a role, even though she
often succeeds in resisting suffering better than a man.
It is difficult to enumerate these sufferings; it is difficult to call them all by name.
We may recall her maternal care for her children, especially when they fall sick or fall
into bad ways; the death of those most dear to her; the loneliness of mothers
forgotten by their grown-up children; the loneliness of widows; the sufferings of women
who struggle alone to make a living; and women who have been wronged or exploited. Then
there are the sufferings of consciences as a result of sin, which has wounded the
woman's human or maternal dignity: the wounds of consciences which do not heal easily.
With these sufferings too we must place ourselves at the foot of the Cross."
Pope John Paul II
(Mulieris Dignitatem, 21)
Pray for the Suffering Women of the World
Labor day usually brings to mind images of factory workers, farmers or heavy equipment
operators. Yet we also use labor to describe the first work which brought each one of us
to birth: those first hours of maternal sacrifice which brought us into the world. It's
too easy to forget that and all the other sacrifices which the vocation of motherhood
entails. Pray for the mothers in labor today. Those who give birth. Those who work two
jobs to support a child. Those who go without so their child's needs are met. Those whose
patient endurance is a sign of God's love upon the cross.
Pray for Mothers who will Give Birth Today
'At first I was scared,' Sarah told me. 'I was
scared, excited and filled with the most incredible expectation. It was like those words
we hear at Mass: we wait in joyful hope. I thought of all those women who feel the first
kick, the stirrings of life deep within them. I prayed for them, that they would love
their child, cherish their little baby and know that in being a mother they are involved
in something so much bigger than themselves. They have been chosen by God to be custodians
of the mystery of life. At first I was scared, and then I just cried ... with joy.'
Pray for Fathers at the Birth of their Child
'At first I was petrified", Jon told me.
"Petrified that I would faint or get in the way or not know what to do to help Sarah.
But then I prayed to Mary. I know, praying to Mary is something you?d think a mother would
be doing. But somehow, I think Mary understood Saint Joseph more than anyone else. She
probably saw the fear in his eyes and sensed the restlessness of his heart. She probably
spent a lot of time praying for him as well. And when I prayed to Mary for my child about
to be born, I knew she understood and heard me and prayed for me to her son. At first I
was petrified, and then I put everything into God's hands."
Pray for All Children
The eyes of a child are an infinite well of life, hope and goodness. If you doubt the
value of life, look into the eyes of a child. If you are worn by life's worries, look into
the eyes of a child. If you want to see tomorrow, look into the eyes of a child. And what
you will see is the divine spark which brought beauty out of chaos, the infinite beauty,
which is the presence of the Creator in his creation.
Pray for Families
I know of a family which prays each night. Since the kids were little they are gathered
from their games and their grumbling to the couch in the living room. There they pray for
those whom they love and those they have a hard time loving. They pray for the unborn and
for little babies. They pray for the sick and the dying. They pray for the Church and for
their priest. Many a night it was the knowledge of those prayers that gave me hope and
peace and a good night's sleep.
Prayer for Life Begins in the Home
I know of another family which used to pray for unborn children every Friday night.
They chose Friday because that's when Christ, innocent and without sin, was sent to the
cross. There's no prayer more powerful than that said over little folded hands asking God
to take care of all the babies who you've made.
We look all around us at Church and see them: all the
people whose kids never seem to scream and who look like they haven't a problem in the
world! But what if we really knew them? We would see the 'secret sufferings' that mirror
our own. Mass is the gathering of those who have
looked at the their own brokenness through the lens of the cross, and live!
Today is the
perfect day to pray for all God's broken children and especially those who are tempted to
break the lives of others.
The Holy Cross
Each time I pray, I am called to join my prayer with Christ's perfect prayer upon the
cross. It is easy from the vantage of the cross to see the world clearly. To see how easy
it is to join the suffering of the innocent to the suffering of him who is without sin. We
should work for an end to all the forms of violence which threaten life. That is a
wonderful good. But it is even more important to stand with the Virgin Mother and to beg
her son to come to our aid.
Our Lady of Sorrows
We end as we began nine days ago: with Mary, weeping silently beside the cross. Weeping
for the innocent child so violently taken. Weeping for the nation which has let him die.
Weeping for her child and for our, we place them both in her arms.