Reflections. Extracts from Daily Thoughts May 2020

May 12, 2020

REFLECTIONS.
Prayer of Pope Francis for the month of May.
“We fly to your protection, O Holy Mother of God”.
In the present tragic situation, when the whole world is prey to suffering and anxiety, we fly to you, Mother of God and our Mother, and seek refuge under your protection.
Virgin Mary, turn your merciful eyes towards us amid this coronavirus pandemic. Comfort those who are distraught and mourn their loved ones who have died, and at times are buried in a way that grieves them deeply. Be close to those who are concerned for their loved ones who are sick and who, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, cannot be close to them. Fill with hope those who are troubled by the uncertainty of the future and the consequences for the economy and employment.
Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us to God, the Father of mercies, that this great suffering may end and that hope and peace may dawn anew. Plead with your divine Son, as you did at Cana, so that the families of the sick and the victims be comforted, and their hearts be opened to confidence and trust.
Protect those doctors, nurses, health workers and volunteers who are on the frontline of this emergency, and are risking their lives to save others. Support their heroic effort and grant them strength, generosity and continued health.
Be close to those who assist the sick night and day, and to priests who, in their pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel, are trying to help and support everyone.
Blessed Virgin, illumine the minds of men and women engaged in scientific research, that they may find effective solutions to overcome this virus.
Support national leaders, that with wisdom, solicitude and generosity they may come to the aid of those lacking the basic necessities of life and may devise social and economic solutions inspired by farsightedness and solidarity.
Mary Most Holy, stir our consciences, so that the enormous funds invested in developing and stockpiling arms will instead be spent on promoting effective research on how to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.
Beloved Mother, help us realize that we are all members of one great family and to recognize the bond that unites us, so that, in a spirit of fraternity and solidarity, we can help to alleviate countless situations of poverty and need. Make us strong in faith, persevering in service, constant in prayer.
Mary, Consolation of the afflicted, embrace all your children in distress and pray that God will stretch out his all-powerful hand and free us from this terrible pandemic, so that life can serenely resume its normal course.
To you, who shine on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope, do we entrust ourselves, O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary. Amen.

May 15. International Family Day. Theme, “Families and Climate. ” Toni was excited when she discovered what the theme was. “It fits perfectly with our own family focus of “Our World, a Family of Families,” she shared with all the subscribers. “With all the emphasis on the corona virus the need for climate awareness was at risk of being put on the back burner. Thousands of health workers have made tremendous sacrifice for which all our gratitude is due. At the same time environmental activists have noted how nature is healing itself, its air and water, after the reduced human activity during the lockdown.” “We humans have a great responsibility to ensure that this good is not undone when the virus has been conquered. All our families, parents and kids, must get involved.” Laura sent in her whatsapp.
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. John 15:12-17. Pope Francis: In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. We learn to ask without demanding, to say thank you, to control our aggressivity and greed and ask forgiveness. These gestures help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings. LS 213. Offer a prayer to Our Lady.

May 16. Pauline shared at the PPC meeting. ”I never realised how countercultural our Catholic faith really is until I experienced materialism in its crudest form. During the hearings of the Zondo Commission it seemed that envying others, wanting more, short-changing and taking from others especially from the poor, workers and the defenseless is the order of the day. Politicians, business and civil society are all there with the worst of them. But then along came the coronavirus and a very different human side emerged with amazing generosity from almost all quarters. Long may it last in our families and society.”
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. John 15:18-21. Pope Francis: By touching the flesh of the crucified Jesus in the suffering, sinners can receive the gift of realizing that they too are poor and in need. By taking this path, the “proud”, the “powerful” and the “wealthy” spoken of in Mary’s Magnificat prayer can also be embraced and undeservedly loved by the crucified Lord who died and rose for them too. We all can learn that this love alone is the answer to the yearning for infinite happiness and love that we thought we could satisfy with the idols of knowledge, power and riches. From Lenten Message 2016. Offer a prayer to Our Lady.

May 17. Easter 6A. Fr Sylvester started by saying, “I almost don’t need to preach a sermon, just using the words of Jesus today is an examination of conscience and a test to see how deep our faith is. ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another counsellor, to be with you for ever.’ During these weeks with John’s gospel there is a lot of talk about love for Jesus and the Father. But there is more. Do I keep the commandments out of love, or fear of punishment?” Fr Sylvester looked around and continued, ”I would like you all to do an exercise. You know the commandments. Which one do you find most difficult to keep but do so just out of love for Jesus? Think about it and share with your family at home.”
If you love me you will keep my commandments. John 14:15-20.   Pope Francis: In some places a spiritual desertification has come about. Attempts by societies to build without God or to eliminate their Christian roots make the Christian world sterile, like overexploited ground. Family and workplace can also be a parched place where faith has to be preserved and communicated. Starting from this desert we can again discover the joy of believing and rediscover the value of what is essential for living. EG 86. Offer a prayer to Our Lady.

VISIT MARFAM SHOP http://www.marfam.org.za/shop for relevant family resources for this time.   Pray the Rosary for Families, Stations of Light – Easter to Pentecost.  and more  .

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