LET US PRAY
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
As the hurt from the pandemic moves into 2021, we, the people of the broader St. Joan of Arc community, joined by people all over the world, turn to You in prayer, confident that You are with us and with all people in every moment. We ask that You expand our faith and buoy our hope as we “shelter in grace” – Your grace, heavenly Father.
We know that You are the Creator and Giver of all that is good. And we thank You for the many blessings You have bestowed upon us: the beauty of the earth; those who have handed down our faith from generation to generation; our work; our families; our loved ones …. and those who serve us in so many essential fields of life, especially during this time of pandemic.
We love You, God, and we thank You and praise You for loving us.
② Even so, we are concerned, distressed, sometimes even frightened … and we are sorrowful. We come to You today with our fears and concerns — You know our hearts. We ask You to be with us … and to stay with us. Help us through these times of uncertainty and sorrow. Keep us from letting our fears and concerns prevent us from serving Your purpose right now, in this moment, on this day, in these times.
Open our hearts to Your call, teach us to serve You as You deserve, as good stewards of Your many graces. With hope and trust, we ask You to send Your Holy Spirit to guide our good work and to be with us as we strive to reclaim our mission to know Christ better and to make Him better known, “to be Christ for others as He is for us”.
③ Lord, give us the strength to endure what we must. Teach us how to be patient, how to wait with joy for what is to come. Show us how to always “rejoice in Your hope, be patient in tribulation and be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
We remain grateful for Your constant love and entrust our journey into Your hands, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, Mary.
④ God Who has a Plan for Each of Us,
You have told us, “For I know the plans I have for you … plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) With faith in Your plan, we ask for Your help:
Help us to LEARN what You want us to learn during this time.
Help us to DO what You want us to do during this time.
Help us to CHANGE what You want us to change during this time.
Help us to GROW in the ways You want us to grow during this time.
Help us to BE the people You want us to be, during this time … and always.
Teach us, Abba, to use this time wisely for Your purpose.
⑤ God Who Brought Us Your Good News,
Bless this world and bring the hope of Jesus into every corner of every heart on earth.
Your love for us leads us to love others for You. Your Great Commission, to spread the gospel — Your good news — begins with love. Your Son, Jesus, told us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Today, in the midst of a pandemic, we pray for every soul on earth to embrace Jesus Christ. Help us to model His selflessness, allowing others to catch a glimpse of Who He is. Enable us to be good representatives of love on earth. Give us the courage to live our faith boldly and consistently. Clean hypocrisy out of our hearts and wipe away prejudice and favoritism. Give us strength and sight. Help us to look at each other through the lens of love.
⑥ Come, Holy Spirit, come. Make us new, God, in Your image. Bring us a New Pentecost that will embolden us to bring more and more souls to You. Use our studies, especially the winter Alpha course, to introduce You to those who do not yet know You and to strengthen others’ personal relationships with You. Help us to love Your children as You do, seeing all the potential You have bestowed on each and every one of us.
Thank you for the priests, pastors, deacons and lay Church leaders who equip us to serve Your purpose. Bless them all, especially our Pope Francis, our bishop, Michael, and our St. Joan pastor, Ray, deacons, John and Fred and our parish staff and ministers.
We ask You, during these difficult days, to inspire us, Your Church, to welcome all in its loving embrace, to watch over Your Church, to lead our mission and to bless us for eternity. Wipe away controversies within Your Church and heal the wounds among Your holy people.
⑦ Prayer of the Day
Day 2: God, the loving parent of all,
COVID is affecting the lives of every child on the planet. So many school-age children are not attending their online classes or learning from them, for a variety of reasons: they may not have proper technology or access to the Internet; being online may not be effective learning tool; there may be no adults in the home to guide them or the adults that are there are focused on their jobs; Internet bandwidth may not be sufficient to support everyone in a household who must work or study online; and more reasons we may not even know.
Such reliance on technology has dramatically increased children’s screen time and shelter-at-home requirements have limited outdoor activities and organized sports experiences.
Many children are suffering sorrow from the death of a loved one without the closure of being able to say good-bye or to grieve with other loved ones at a memorial service. We ask for Your special blessings and grace to deal with their grief.
Children who are the only school-age person in their households are isolated in their homes, having no contact with other children, relying solely on one or two parents. Babies growing during the pandemic are not exposed to current day experiences, such as interaction with extended family and friend networks; playdates with other babies and children outside their homes; or even, in many cases, typical modern-day experiences like car seats, as they shelter at home with their parents.
⑧ Daily Reflection from Pope Francis
[Obtain messages here.]
⑨ Questions for Dialog
[Obtain questions here.]
⑩ God of Atonement <responsorial>
We offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ: in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
For the sake of Your Son’s sorrowful Passion: have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent: but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
⑪ God Who Gave Us the Eucharist,
This time of sheltering has made us hungry for You, Jesus, and for the Mass. You are the source and summit of our faith, our spiritual nourishment. Help us to experience the gift of Spiritual Communion, as each of us says this now together:
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
And teach us to always cherish the amazing gift that being able to celebrate Mass and receive Your Eucharist every Sunday and any weekday is for us. We eagerly await the return of that privilege for all of us and pray that our time apart will increase our understanding, joy and appreciation.
⑫ Healing God,
You are the only true source of health and healing. Grant us healing and protection from all sickness of body, mind and soul. Deliver and defend us from every evil. Bless each one of us with an awareness of Your presence and give us perfect confidence in You. In all pain, weariness and anxiety, teach us to yield ourselves to Your never-failing care, knowing that Your love and power surround us, trusting in Your wisdom and providence to give us health, strength and peace.
Bring Your loving and healing presence to all those who are sick and suffering right now. Be with the most vulnerable now among us, especially those delivering babies during this time and the newborns, themselves. Wrap Your loving arms around those who suffer from pain, fear, anxiety and depression. Teach us how to love with Your perfect love, for we know that “perfect love casts out all fear.” (1John 4:18)
⑬ Place Your Holy Spirit at the side of all medical professionals who are putting themselves at risk while they work to bring healing to others. Strengthen and protect them and all who work in our medical facilities. Bless them with the courage to do what they need to do to care for Your children with patience, tact and compassion.
We ask You to grant us a breakthrough: to miraculously unveil both effective treatments and safe, functional vaccines for the coronavirus; to iron out logistical challenges in getting treatments and vaccines to those who need them; and, if it be Your will, to eliminate this virus altogether.
⑭ Your Word speaks of healing and restoration. You have told us, “I have heard your prayers and seen your tears; I will heal you” (2Kings 20:5) and “I will take away sickness from you.” (Exodus 23:25) and we thank You for the miracles that You still perform today.
We believe in the healing power of faith and prayer and, so, we ask You to begin Your mighty work in the lives of all those on our prayer intentions list. Please reach down and surround them with supernatural peace and strength and give them the faith to believe that all things are possible with You.
⑮ God Who Hears all of our Prayers,
We lift up our special intentions to You.
<pause to allow individual intentions to be spoken>
We pray for all those on our prayer intentions list, most especially:
- the souls of those who have died, especially those who died of the corona virus
- all those who are sick, especially those who are suffering from the corona virus
- the first responders who put themselves at risk to care for the sick
- and those who are carrying new life within them
And we pray with gratitude:
- for the many prayers You have answered for us
- for those who have healed from serious illness, especially from the corona virus
- and for the new lives that have been born during the pandemic
Musical meditations can be found here.