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PRAYER TO ST MARTIN DE PORRES FOR EMPLOYMENT

 

Compassionate St Martin de Porres, you were always a generous and dedicated worker. Not one day of your life found you idle. Help me now in these difficult times to find suitable employment. I have no wish to be without work. By your prayers I hope to be given a situation where I can use to the full all the gifts that God has given to me. Intercede for me that I will obtain guidance in seeking out possible opportunities. When I am employed obtain for me the graces to be faithful and diligent for the glory of God, for my own good and that of all people we serve. Ask God to give me health of mind and body and generosity in meeting the needs of others. I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
 

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PRAISE THE LORD! – IF GOD DOES “SEND” SUFFERING, IT IS MORE LIKELY TO BE TO A SAINT THAN TO A SINNER, BECAUSE THE SAINT IS BETTER “QUALIFIED”

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me (Mat 1:38).

“THE POWER OF PAIN

Pain is one of our great supernatural resources. That statement is out of line with our usual pattern of thought. We are accustomed to viewing pain as an unmitigated evil. For some persons, the existence of pain even is a source of temptation against their religious faith. ‘If God is good,’ they ask, ‘why does He permit suffering, particularly so much innocent suffering?’

‘IF GOD IS GOOD,’ THEY ASK, ‘WHY DOES HE PERMIT SUFFERING?’

Thoughtful people realise that we could not have the world we do have, without suffering. A great amount of suffering is caused by man’s own inhumanity to man. To prevent this, God would have to make man a puppet, with God pulling the strings on each man’s actions. Being no longer free, man would cease to be human.

FREE WILL AND CREATION AS WE KNOW IT

Similarly, to eliminate all pain caused by nature, God would have had a different kind of world. Fire burns. Coal tars initiate cancer. Gravity crushes. Electricity kills. The world could not be our world, as we know it, without pain.

Still, after all possible explanations of pain have been made, there does remain a large element of mystery in this question of suffering. For example, why deadly microbes, why poisonous reptiles?

THERE DOES REMAIN A MYSTERY

It helps a little to remember that God’s plan for the universe encompasses billions of years. Our own world with its pain is but one pinpoint in that vast plan and only one moment in those uncounted eons. How the phenomenon of pain may eventually contribute to God’s over-all design, we must await to discover.

‘GREATER LOVE THAN THIS NO MAN HAS, THAT ONE LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS’

The really important truth about pain, for the Christian, is the fact that it does have a meaning in the here and now. In Eden God gave to suffering its value as an atonement for sin. On Calvary Jesus Christ gave to suffering its ultimate nobility as He expressed, in the language of pain, God’s infinite love for man. ‘Greater love than this no man has, that one lay down his life for his friends.’

SHARING THE SUBLIME FRUIT OF SUFFERING

Jesus did not hoard to Himself this sublime fruit of suffering, this ability to make one’s pain count for others. In His scheme of salvation, our Lord has chosen to share with us His redemptive work. Each of us who has been baptised in Christ has the privilege of helping Him to carry His cross. Each of us has the power to atone by our sufferings for the sins of others and to crack the locks on hearts that have been closed to God’s grace.

‘WHO NOW REJOICE IN MY SUFFERINGS FOR YOU, AND FILL UP THAT WHICH IS LACKING IN THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST IN MY FLESH FOR HIS BODY’S SAKE, WHICH IS THE CHURCH’ (Colossians 1:24)

Whatever pain may be our lot, in honesty we must admit, ‘I deserve this for my sins.’ Only an innocent child can truthfully say, ‘I do not deserve to suffer.’ If God’s justice were not tempered with mercy and if we had to pay the full price of our infidelities, we should be living our whole lives in pain.

However, when suffering does come to us, it would be a mistake to conclude, ‘I am being punished for my sins.’ God is not a vindictive God. He may permit us to suffer for our spiritual good and to better assure our eternal happiness, but He does not send suffering to ‘get even’ with us for our offences against Him.

MOST SUFFERING IS THE INEVITABLE RESULT OF LIVING IN THE KIND OF WORLD THAT IS OURS

In fact, it probably is quite rarely that God positively ‘sends’ suffering to anyone. Most suffering, such as disease or accident, is simply the result of natural causes; or, it is the result of the evil will of fellow humans. Most suffering, in other words, is the inevitable result of living in the kind of a world that is ours.

If God does ‘send’ suffering, it is more likely to be to a saint than to a sinner. The saint is better qualified to use suffering unselfishly for the salvation of others.

‘I OFFER THIS CROSS, BELOVED JESUS, IN UNION WITH YOURS’

Suffering comes in all styles and sizes. It may be a simple headache, a slight cold or a minor disappointment. It may be the excruciating agony of cancer or of acute arthritis, or the mental distress of deep despondency or loneliness.

Whatever our particular pain may be, it will be a tragic waste if we refuse or forget to say, ‘I offer this cross, beloved Jesus, in union with Yours. I offer it for my own sins and especially in atonement for the sins of others. Let my suffering bring another soul to You!'”
– Fr Leo J. Trese, 1966 (text within the inverted commas; capital headings added afterwards).

(see also Mt 5:2-12)

 

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PRAYER FOR THE UNEMPLOYED AND UNDERPAID

Father,
you have called men and women,
through their daily work,
to share in your work of creation.

May we recognise others as our brothers and sisters
and, by the power of your Spirit,
strive with them for a more just world
where men and women will find work
in accordance with the dignity of their vocation
and will contribute
to the progress of all nations.
Amen.

 
 

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PETITIONS FOR TODAY

Bring back the lapsed and heal the broken hearted.

Heal the sick, bring mercy and compassion to those who are housebound.

Sanctify the Pope, give him grace to be a good shepherd of the flock entrusted to his care.

May those nations who oppose one another with armed force seek the way of reconciliation and peace.

Lord, give encouragement and hope to those who are unemployed.

Touch the lives of those who are suffering, Lord. Bring your healing power to the weak and those in poor health.

Bless all who work on the land, may I be grateful always for the gifts of the earth.

Bless all families, especially parents that they will encourage the faith of their children to grow strong and resilient against the surges of materialism and secularism in our society.

Bless our priests that they may be worthy of their vocation and serve your people with faith, hope and charity.

 

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“MAY OUR CITIES BE FILLED WITH LOVE”

PRAYER FOR CITIES

Cities are for needs and wants, divine Father, that cannot be met in isolation. Have we expected from them too much and put in too little? Spur us to renew our cities as You renew the earth in spring, that families my have decent living space, that the poor may have hope fulfilled, that the sick and aged may be treated as persons. May our cities be filled with love, truly homes and not merely structures. Amen.

 

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A NOVENA TO ST JOSEPH

ST JOSEPH’S FEAST DAY: MARCH 19

Please join in the nine day Novena to St Joseph, the powerful Patron of Mill Hill Missionaries [see previous post for details], asking his protection and guidance for all our needs.

• DAILY NOVENA PRAYER:

Almighty God, you have chosen Saint Joseph to be the mainstay of Jesus and Mary, the wise and faithful servant in whom they could trust. We pray, that he may truly be the guardian of your Church; that he may inspire with confidence those who are devoted to him; that he may give security to those who work in the vineyard of your Son; and finally, that he may be a source of strength to us, who wish, like him, to dedicate ourselves to Christ’s service, now and in times to come. Amen.

Please read and reflect on the themes of the day and read/recite/pray the above Novena prayer.

• FIRST DAY:

Joseph – The Man of Morals

‘Joseph was a man who always did what was right.’ Matthew 1.19

What a predicament Joseph was in when he discovered Mary was pregnant. What was he to do? Being a man of God and an honourable man, he trusted in God’s guidance to show him the way.

We often feel uncertain what to do. We fret and worry, and blame God for allowing things to happen to us. When we are troubled and worried, may we learn to trust in God. Pray, that like St Joseph, we will put our problems before the Lord and trust Him to show us the right path to take.

• SECOND DAY:

Joseph – The Man who Listened

‘If you listen to me, you will know what is right and fair.’ Proverbs 2.9
Joseph was a man who listened. Constant noise prevents us from listening and hearing our friends, family and God. Joseph knew how to be silent to allow God’s Word to come through to him. No spoken word is recorded of him.

In our world today, we are surrounded by noise and distraction. Our spiritual ‘senses’ become numbed by the intrusive noises of television, vehicles, mobile phones and modern technology. Is it any wonder we do not hear God speaking to us? We ask St Joseph to help us to know how to be silent and to carve out some ‘quiet time’ in our day to listen to God.

• THIRD DAY:

Joseph – The Man of Trust

‘An angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph.’ Matthew 1.20

God spoke to Joseph in his dreams and he trusted in the plans God laid before him to take Mary as his wife.

Like St Joseph, who questioned but trusted God’s judgement of what was right for him and his family, we too should trust that God, our Father, loves us so much, he knows what is right for us as individuals. St Joseph questioned God’s plan. We also may question God’s intention for us. However may we, like him, have the strength to place our trust in the Lord.

• FOURTH DAY:

Joseph – The Man of Protection

‘Joseph got up and took the child and his mother and left that night for Egypt.’ Matthew 2.14

Joseph fled with Mary, his wife, and the new born baby conceived by the Holy Spirit to the land of Egypt, to protect his family from King Herod, who was about to search for the child and kill him.

St Joseph, a husband and father, shared the demands of providing food, clothing, a stable home and support for Mary and his foster-son, Jesus. As Guardian of the Holy Family, he recognised the danger they were in and took action to keep Mary and Jesus safe from harm. We ask St Joseph to protect our families and to strengthen us in love.

• FIFTH DAY:

Joseph – The Patron of the Church

‘Joseph went…to David’s town of Bethlehem – because he was a descendant of David.’ Luke 2.4

Joseph, being a descendant of the royal House of David, understood the need to register his family by census in the town of Bethlehem. God appointed Joseph as head of the Holy Family. Through Mary, the Church received Christ our Saviour, thereby the Church owes her gratitude and veneration to Joseph who was chosen to enable Christ to enter into the world.

Joseph was the head of the Holy Family, who was father, protector, guide and support and the starting point of the Church. Today it is believed the Church is the family of God on earth. Bless the Pope, Bishops, Priests, the religious and the laity of the Catholic Church that they ever grow in God’s love and faithfulness in his service. We ask St Joseph to protect the Church from the evils of our day and from the persecution of her enemies.

• SIXTH DAY:

Joseph – The Man of Faith

‘Every year the parents of Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival.’ Luke 2.41

Joseph observed the religious feasts and practices of the Jewish faith especially attending the Synagogue on the Sabbath. He taught Jesus to say his prayers at meals and at certain hours of the day, he also introduced the Scriptures and Psalms to his foster son.

As with Joseph, our faith is a gift which should be treasured and accepted with grace. Joseph lived and shared his faith and was devoted to deepening his relationship with God. We ask Joseph to help us to strengthen our faith by spending time in prayer each day and to take part in the Church’s liturgy. Let us be confident to share our faith with all we meet and give them a warm welcome in our hearts and communities.

• SEVENTH DAY:

Joseph – The Family Man

‘And Joseph named him Jesus” Matthew 1.25

Joseph, an ordinary man, faced many family problems such as Mary’s pregnancy, the threat to the life of Jesus, exile to a foreign land and how to make ends meet. As husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus, Joseph showed the deepest love and respect for his family and cherished all the experiences that come with family life. He died peacefully in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

As head of the family, Joseph watched out for Jesus and Mary at all times. May he help all couples to live out the love which they promised to each other. As Patron of families help us with our financial problems so that we do not allow money or material things to spoil the bond that unites a family. May all families be a source of peace, unity and happiness for children as well as for parents.

• EIGHTH DAY:

Joseph – The Worker

‘Isn’t he the carpenter’s son?’ Matthew 13.55

Joseph loved his work, was dedicated to his chosen trade, took pride in his workmanship and taught Jesus the skills of his craft. He probably knew the hardship of unemployment when there was little or no work for himself and Jesus.

St Joseph, help us to see our work as a service for others, a means of bringing order and beauty out of chaos and making our world a better place. Help us to see work as more than a means of making money. Help us appreciate the dignity of work and grant us meaningful employment. We pray for the unemployed, underemployed and those who are working under stress.

• NINTH DAY:

Joseph – The Faithful Servant

‘Who, then, is a faithful and wise servant? He is the one that his master has placed in charge of the other servants to give them food at the proper time.’ Matthew 24.45

Joseph’s life was one of loving service, he served his family, he served his community and he served his God. He was faithful to his duties, sacrificed unselfishly; his life was one of generous giving and devoted to the Will of God. Joseph faithfully carried out his duties using the graces and gifts bestowed on him by God to serve the Lord unconditionally.

Joseph, you had the privilege of being God’s faithful servant, as a token of your own gratitude, obtain for us the grace to be a faithful servant of God. By your own example, inspire us to be, as you were, faithful, unselfish and devoted in your duties, without praise or reward. Help us to trust in the Providence of God and to follow in the obedience of Jesus who came not to do His will but the will of His Father.

 
 

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ST ANTHONY, PRAY THAT I MAY FIND WORK THAT ENHANCES MY HUMAN DIGNITY – PRAYER FOR A JOB

Blessed Anthony, our intercessor in times of need, you gave yourself as a tireless worker in the vineyard of the Lord. By our labour we produce the things needed for human life. So our work is honourable and holy and makes perfect the work of God’s creation.

Pray that I may find work which enhances my human dignity, draws me closer to God, and makes my life, as was yours, a real service to my fellow men. Provide for me while I am in this trial of unemployment. I need your help, Blessed Friend. Please come to my aid. Amen.

 
 

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