LET US PRAY
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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 stand before You as people of hope and joy, trusting in Your care and protection. May Your faithful love support us and soothe the anxiety of our hearts. Revive our Easter faith; help us to know the saving proclamation, “He is Risen” and to know, truly know, that You are by our side.
Our hope springs from the knowledge that just as this virus is spreading throughout the world, so too is prayer and goodness spreading because the power of prayer to You is infinite. Our union in prayer with Your Son, Jesus Christ, is our act of faith in You and Your goodness. We know You will send a flood of grace and consolation for those who suffer.
God of Peace,
We are concerned, distressed, sometimes even frightened … and we are sorrowful … about the coronavirus and its effects all over the world Please calm us. Send us Your peace and overwhelming presence. Enable us to trust You completely and to follow the message Your Son gave us more than any other, “Do not fear.”
Grant us peace in our households, where we are sheltering in place, some of us working remotely, others without work, many looking for ways to spend our time, all of us adjusting to these new ways of life. Show us the beauty of each person in our households and guide us to love each other more and more. Help us to listen to each other attentively and speak words of kindness and encouragement to each other.
Comfort the lonely, who may be isolated, living alone during this time. Let them feel the warmth of Your arms as they live without the warmth and touch of other human beings during this time.
God Who has a plan for each of us,
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.
Teach us, Abba, to use this time wisely for Your purpose.
God Who gave us the Eucharist,
This time without Mass and the celebration of the Eucharist has made us hungry for You, Jesus, because we know that in the Eucharist You, Yourself, are fully present to us: Your body, blood, soul and divinity. You are the source and summit of our faith, our spiritual nourishment, the new manna that will sustain us every day.
Help us to experience the gift of Spiritual Communion, as each of us says this now:
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. Amen.
And teach us to cherish the amazing gift that being able to celebrate Mass and receive Your Eucharist every Sunday and any weekday has been for us. We pray with eager anticipation that the privilege of consuming the Eucharist will return to us very soon and that we will receive You with renewed understanding, joy and appreciation.
We pray in gratitude for all those in our country who will continue to work in the days ahead in so many fields of life for the sake of us all: fire fighters, ambulance personnel, police officers, workers in grocery stores, post offices and utilities, truck drivers and delivery teams, military personnel, farmers, ranchers, field workers, warehouse/shipping teams, essential maintenance staffs and so many more.
Fill us with compassion and concern for others, young and old, that we may look after one another in these challenging days. Give us eyes to see how we can love and serve Your children well. Help us to be creative in finding ways to unite with others, even as we shelter in place.
May those who have died rest in Your eternal embrace. Comfort their family and friends. Bless the workers who carry out essential services to respect the dead and prepare their bodies for their final earthly resting place. At this time, we pray especially for friends and family who have died during this time of sheltering in place:
[Leader will read names OR, if praying alone, say the names of your friends and family.]
Touch the hearts of our leaders, especially those in healthcare and government. Give them wisdom, that they may make the right decisions for the well-being of people. Reveal Yourself to them and instill in them a sense of love, mercy, fairness, generosity, reason, caution and good judgment. Help them to trust in You.
Teach Your people patience and understanding towards those who sometimes have to make difficult choices on behalf of others, the consequences of which are not always clear. Grant strength, wisdom and empathy to all law enforcement and mental health personnel so that they have the compassionate words and actions to best help those who are victims of violence and those with mental health conditions, both existing and emerging as a result of this situation.
Please bless each and every one of them; keep them and their loved ones safe and healthy.
Have mercy on us and on the whole world. We come to You today with our fears and concerns — You know our hearts. We love You, we trust You, we need You. We ask You to be with us. Stay with us. Help us through these times of uncertainty and sorrow.
Do not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us, again, “Do not be afraid.” Show us how to cast our anxieties onto You.
Help those who are experiencing economic strain, uncertain and overwhelmed about how to meet their financial obligations and provide for their families. Inspire those with financial means to help others.
Give us the grace to forgive others as You forgive us, swiftly, completely and with love. Make us better people, more and more like You each day, during this time.
You once traveled through towns and villages healing every disease and sorrow. At the sound of Your voice, the afflicted were set free. By the power of Your Most Holy Name, grant us healing and protection from all sickness of body and soul. By the merits of Your precious blood deliver and defend us from every evil.
We know You are the Divine Physician, the healer of all. And so we ask that You bring Your loving and healing presence to all those who are sick and suffering right now. Please comfort them. Some are sick from influenza or the coronavirus, others have chronic conditions that cannot be treated now because they cannot go to doctors’ offices, clinics or hospitals, many are lost and confused because counseling services are no longer available. They suffer from discomfort, pain and fear. Please comfort them and stay by their side.
You chose to enter this world as a vulnerable baby. Please be with the most vulnerable now among us, especially those delivering babies during this time and the newborns, themselves. Help us to continue to return to You with our whole hearts throughout this ordeal. At this time, we pray especially for friends and family who have the virus:
[leader will read names of those with the virus or who are pregnant OR, if praying alone, say the names of those you know.]
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. Bless them with the courage to do what they need to do to care for Your children. Strengthen and protect them and all who work in our medical facilities. And grant them knowledge, patience, tact and compassion to enable them to provide the best care possible. Inspire them to find soothing words and comforting gestures and provide support and friendship.
Prompt patients to understand the often difficult life of doctors and nurses and encourage them to minimize their requirements and whims in order to make the lives of their medical staff a little easier and to avoid unnecessarily increasing their burden. Also, inspire patients to express their admiration and gratitude for work that the medical profession carries out every day.
God of the meek, the humble, the outcast, the desperate
So many people around the world are suffering as their means of support are taken away. Some have been homeless before this virus and many more are becoming homeless.
Some have been living in care facilities and can no longer receive visitors; care may be lessened due to workers there being ill, themselves.
Some have been trafficked and depend on captors whose means and willingness to feed and shelter them may be disappearing.
Some have been imprisoned and can no longer receive visitors; assistance may be lessened due to guards there being ill, themselves; some have been released early to prevent contracting or spreading the virus … only to find themselves homeless with no place to go as family and friends protect themselves while sheltering-in-place.
And some are becoming victims of crimes due to these times and from people who need to be in jail right now, but are not.
As a result, dear Father, some of Your children are feeling desolate and desperate … enough to end their lives. Reach them, God, love them, stay their hands; send us to them, help us to bring Your love to them to help them feel meaning, purpose and, most of all, hope … hope in Your plan and love.
We ask for Your special comfort and care for these special souls: the homeless, the trafficked, the lonely, the downtrodden, the vulnerable, the victimized, the exploited, the desperate. Let them feel Your strong and loving arms around them. Give them peace and guide them to find a way to care for themselves. Help them find safe sanctuary and places of healing during these times.
Guide us, too, God. Show us the way to do our part to care for these special souls. Enable us to care for each other in ways that limit the spread of this virus. Teach us, God, to love each other the way You care for us. And please give all of us the self-control to avoid exploiting this situation and other people for our own benefit.
God, Who commissioned us to be Your Church on earth,
We ask You, during these difficult days, to be more aware of our individual and collective fragility and to inspire us, Your Church, to welcome all in its loving embrace. You Who, even in the middle of thunderstorms, watch over Your Church, lead our mission and give it Your breath, bless us for eternity.
Bless Your priests, pastors, deacons and lay Church leaders: with Your company to fight the loneliness of being isolated from their communities; with the courage to overcome their fears; with confidence in their vocations and the importance of their prayers and works; with the assurance of Your love and the love of their flocks. We pray especially for our Pope Francis, our bishop, Michael Barber, our St. Joan pastor, Fr. Ray Sacca and our St. Joan deacon, John Durden
[and the leaders at your own home parish, if you are not currently part of St. Joan.]
Make us new, God, in Your image. Bring us a New Pentecost that will embolden us to bring more and more souls to You. Help us to love Your children as You do, seeing all the potential You have bestowed on each and every one of us.
God of creation and life,
We place ourselves in Your protection. Keep Your children safe. Guide us to give our children and grandchildren virtuous examples of how faithful people deal with extraordinary times like these. Breathe new life into our families, our communities and our world … a new life that honors and obeys You, our Creator. For, as Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, You are leading us to a new promised land that frees us from the bondage of sin and death.
Show us how to truly accept the Cross: to rekindle hope, to have the courage to embrace all hardships, to abandon our eagerness for power and possession, to make room for the creativity that only the Holy Spirit can inspire and to welcome new opportunities for hospitality and community.
May the mantle of Your peace enfold us this day and tomorrow.
At this time, we lift up our special intentions to You, Abba.
[Mention your special intentions to God, either in silent prayer or by voicing your intention in turn with others.]
Today, we pray with a special focus: for our leaders on whose shoulders rest important decisions that affect so many lives.
We appeal to Special Intercessors on this day of our Novena.
Mother Mary, undoer of knots, please pray for the knot of this virus to be undone for the greater glory of God. Be a mother to us now, and always.
St. Damien of Molokai, you put yourself at risk to minister to lepers … pray for us!
St Joan of Arc, who cried, “Courage! Do not fall back!” pray for us.
St. Joseph, patron saint of the dying, pray for us.
St. Corona, you bear the name of this virus and may be a patron saint of epidemics, pray for us!
St. Dymphna, you are celebrated for your goodness and are patron saint of those who suffer from anxiety and emotional troubles … pray for us!
St. Paschal Baylon, Lover of the Eucharist … pray for us!
All the saints of God, pray for us.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Say the Lord’s Prayer, a Holy Mary, and a Glory Be OR say a decade of the Rosary.
Sit in contemplative silence as you listen to an inspirational song.
Journal the thoughts that come to you as you meditate. Weave these into your prayers throughout the coming day.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE, RECITE THE POPE’S LITANY PRAYER.