POPE’S INTENTIONS FOR THE CHALLENGES OF HUMANITY
That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.
Lord our Father,
you want the Church to be the visible presence of your love
in the midst of men.
Every Christian is a disciple sent to announce,
by words and by works,
the good news of the Gospel.
To all parishes
is directed the call to become,
more and more,
places of communication of faith and testimony of charity.
We ask that our parish be this place
and that each of us,
within their own abilities,
be an active member in the mission of evangelizing.
What is Evangelization?
Excerpt from Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States.
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Mt 28: 19-2
The simplest way to say what evangelization means is to follow Pope Paul VI, whose message Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World) has inspired so much recent thought and activity in the Church. We can rephrase his words to say that evangelizing means bringing the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself. At its essence are the proclamation of salvation in Jesus Christ and the response of a person in faith, which are both works of the Spirit of God.
Evangelization must always be directly connected to the Lord Jesus Christ. “There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the Kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed.
I love the Catholic Church. Christ is central in all things. The Church really does only a very few things. Or rather, she does many things for only a very few reasons:
- Remember Christ’s Passion and resurrection in the Eucharist
- Spread the Good News of the Gospel
- Perform good works to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, aid the poor, and more.
The Catholic message is a positive one. The Church strives to reflect the love of Christ.
See my Catholic Downloads page for resources to learn about Catholicism.
They knew it was risky transporting boxes of Bibles and Christian books in their region of North Africa, but the pastor and a faithful church member chose to do it anyway. When police discovered their contraband cargo, they detained and interrogated the two Christians for several hours. The believers could face charges of proselytizing and transporting Christian materials without permission.
Another bold Christian, in Egypt, faced a potential three-year prison sentence after being arrested for distributing Bibles in a shopping area near Cairo. He was charged with “despising religion” and jailed for 15 days. Christians all over the world prayed for him during his detention.
The Voice of the Martyrs is committed to seeing every believer in a hostile or restricted nation receive a copy of God’s Word in his or her own language and in the most practical format. We invite you to sponsor Bibles to help us reach this goal.
More than 550,000 Bibles have been sponsored so far this year, including children’s Bibles, Bibles for adults and Bibles for secret distribution in the world’s most restricted nations.
We’re off to a great start. More than half a million Christians will have a copy of the Bible because of generous support from readers like you. But more Christians are waiting. Help us reach the 1 million Bible goal — and even surpass it — by sponsoring Bibles for distribution in hostile and restricted nations.
The Rosary Confraternity is a spiritual association (of the Catholic Church), the members of which strive to pray the entire Rosary during the course of each week. They form a union of countless hundreds of thousands of the faithful throughout the world who, along with their own intentions, include the intentions and needs of all its members, while they in turn pray for them…. [more]
Those who pray the Rosary regularly would do well to be enrolled in the Confraternity to gain extra spiritual benefits for each Rosary they pray. [enroll]
Rosary Confraternity Prayer
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary and Mother of us all, we come to you for help in our sorrows, trials and necessities. Sin leaves us weak and helpless but Divine Grace heals and strengthens.
We ask for the grace to love Jesus as you loved Him, to believe as you believed, to hope as you hoped; we ask to share your purity of mind and heart. Give us true sorrow for sin and make us love people as you and Jesus loved them. Obtain for us the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we may be wise with your wisdom, understand with your understanding, know with your knowledge, prudent with your prudence, patient with your patience, courageous with your fortitude and desire justice ardently for everyone with the all consuming desire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus your Son.
Open our minds that as we pray the Rosary we will understand the teachings of the Gospel contained in its mysteries.
We pray especially for the members of the Rosary Confraternity whom we love. Help them wherever they may be; guide them, watch over them and make them strong in their trials and suffering. We are drawn together by a common bond of great charity for you and for each other; keep us faithful to your Son and to your Rosary till death.
Intercede for the souls in Purgatory, especially for the members of the Rosary Confraternity who have died. May they rest in peace. Finally we ask for grace of final perseverance for ourselves and for our loved ones that we may all be reunited in heaven forever.
Saint Dominic, you who received so much Grace and Strength from the Rosary, Pray for Us.
On Learning To Love Offensively (For Those Weary From The Fight)
More and more, I am letting what and who I care deeply about drive and move and fuel me. It allows me simplicity and clarity:
I abhor racism and bigotry, so I strive to see and treat all people equally and individually.
I detest homophobia and transphobia, so I care for and support my LGBTQ brothers and sisters and their families.
I believe fully in gender equality, so I do my best to advocate for this equality.
I find poverty detestable, so I look for ways to contribute to eliminating it.
I can’t stomach hatred in the name of Jesus, so as a Christian I try daily to reflect Christ’s love as well as I can as often as I can.
If Hopelessness is Trending in Your Head
The truth is, dear friend: there are far more people in this place working for equality, diversity, love, and justice than opposing them—and it isn’t even close. There are hundreds of millions of people in this world who (just like you) wake up every day trying to be the kind of person the world needs; lavish with compassion, overflowing with generosity, relentless with love. You are, even when you’re not aware of it, surrounded on all sides by like-hearted people who are not okay with the suffering around them either.
One of the most heroic acts of the twentieth century reached its conclusion on this day, August 14, 1941. That is when the Franciscan friar, Maximilian Kolbe, lifted up his arm to receive a lethal injection of carbolic acid.
Two weeks earlier, a prisoner had escaped from Auschwitz. The camp’s rule was that if one prisoner escaped, ten died in his place. All day the weak and underfed men from the escaped prisoner’s block were made to stand in the sun without food and water. When the man was not found, a prison guard called out the names of ten men who were to die in his place.
When Sergeant Francis Gajowniczek heard his name called, he cried out, “Have mercy! I have a wife and children.” But mercy was a commodity in short supply in Nazi death camps.
Into the gap stepped Maximilian Kolbe. He moved forward silently. Asked what he wanted, he replied, “I am a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place, because he has a wife and children.” Hesitating a moment in face of this noble gesture, Commandant Fritsch accepted the replacement. Maximilian and nine others were sent to starve to death.
During those two weeks, Maximilian led the victims in hymns and prayer. When he became too weak to speak aloud, he whispered his prayers. After two weeks, only four of the ten were still alive. Maximilian alone was completely conscious. The guards needed the space for more prisoners and decided to hasten the deaths with lethal doses of carbolic acid. Maximilian was last. Weak though he was, he raised his arm to receive the injection, triumphantly embracing martyrdom. We know some of these details, because the guard who kept the records was so impressed during Maximilian’s two-week ordeal that he logged more detail than was required.
Such martyrs do not just happen by chance. Maximilian was born as Raymond Kolbe. Although a wild boy as a youth, he was moved by the prayers and pleas of his mother. One day when he was twelve, as he prayed before a statue of Mary he saw her in a vision; she offered him two crowns: a white one for purity and red for martyrdom. Told to choose between them, he asked for both. He became a Franciscan friar and took the name Maximilian.
His life was devoted to Mary. He founded an order which used the means of mass communication, including radio and a widely circulated newspaper and magazine, to spread truth. “No one in the world can change Truth,” he said. “What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?” Indifference toward the things of God was the deadliest enemy of any soul. He aimed to defeat this.
In prison, he often went without food so others might have more and insisted on being the last in his unit to receive medical treatment. His attitude was expressed in his words, “For Jesus Christ I am prepared to suffer still more.” Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian in 1982, saying, “He bore witness to Christ and to love.”
|Dear Friend of St. Jude,
I invite you to join us in prayer during the Solemn Novena to St. Jude for Healing, August 12th—20th.
As word of Jesus’ healing spread, people came great distances to hear Him speak and with hope of being fortunate enough to possibly feel His touch. Some of the people who came were in need of healing, but many who came were caregivers—concerned family and friends—praying in support of their loved one.
During this special Healing Novena, we will offer petitions to St. Jude to help our family and friends experience the gentle and healing touch of Christ.
Today I have sent you all nine days of prayer in one message. Please save or print this message and return to it each day of the Solemn Novena to St. Jude. You can also view the Novena prayers on our website and send your petitions to the altar of St. Jude.
DAY 1 — Saturday, August 12th
Today we center ourselves in peace as we begin nine days of Solemn Novena prayer. St. Jude listens to our prayers and offers us hope for every intention.
On this 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we come together in prayer with a special intention to St. Jude.
On this third day of Solemn Novena prayer, we join together in the belief that there is power in praying with and for one another’s petitions.
On this fourth day of Solemn Novena prayer to St. Jude, we come together in prayer with our special intentions to St. Jude.
On this fifth day of Solemn Novena prayer, we remember all of God’s children throughout the world in need of healing as we offer our prayers together.
Today we give ourselves over to trust in God as we begin the sixth of nine days of Solemn Novena prayer to St. Jude.
Today we begin the seventh of nine days of Solemn Novena prayer by asking St. Jude for his intercession, and then for God to hear our petitions.
On this eighth day of Solemn Novena prayer, we offer our prayers together. Today I recognize how my Novena makes me stronger in faith and grace.
Today we mark the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time as we begin the ninth and final day of Solemn Novena prayer with an intention and prayer to St. Jude. We are so grateful for this time to offer our petitions to St. Jude.
Yours in prayer,
Fr. Mark Brummel, CMF
Director, St. Jude League