Hello everyone, good morning to you all.  Hope you are well today.  Hoping also that the week was a fruitful and enriching one for you.  As we approach the weekend may the Lord in His love bless and protect you and your families and grant you a refreshing and relaxing couple of days.

Welcome to our Spiritual Lift for Friday.  May you be encouraged and renewed in your relationship with the Lord.

Laetare/Refreshment Sunday – 4th Sunday of Lent and Mother’s Day.

This coming Sunday, 14th March is the fourth Sunday of Lent and is also known as Laetare (to be joyful) Sunday.  It is also known as ‘Refreshment Sunday’ as some folk like to pause for a day from their Lenten observance and take stock as to how Lent has been going personally for them.

As we look forward to the final two weeks of Lent, things crank up another spiritual gear as we enter the time of Passiontide and Holy Week.  With renewed determination, the disciplines of prayer, fasting and giving intensify as we journey with the Lord to the Cross and are raised to new life with Him in His Resurrection Life.

It is a Sunday where the austere Lenten purple of penitence, prayer, fasting and self-denial gives way to the joyful Rose Pink colours and vestments.  This reminds us that through the way of the cross comes eternal life, hope, joy and peace.  Through the Death of Jesus on the Cross, there comes forth life everlasting. The darkness of Good Friday gives way to the shining brilliance and glory of the Risen Lord on Easter Sunday morning.

Mother’s Day – Mothering Sunday:

We remember too, our Blessed Lady and the faith and confidence she showed as she continued to believe, hope and trust in God’s plan of salvation and as she walked with Jesus as He faced and endured His sorrowful Passion, sufferings and death. It’s Mother’s Day and as well as thanking God for the gift of Our Lady to be our Spiritual Mother in Heaven, it is lovely to celebrate our own Mum as well as those other family members who look after us like a Mum does – we celebrate our Sisters, Aunties, Nans and Grandmas – including anyone who cares for us! May you have a special and happy day whatever you do to celebrate!

Weekly Scripture Verse:

Our scripture verse for us to ponder and pray for this week comes from St Matthew’s Gospel (Matt.28:20b) This verse is taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Scriptures (NRSV) Catholic Edition.  Let us give thanks to the Lord for the precious gift of His Word, the Bible.  May it guide and strengthen us in these days. Be encouraged as our God speaks to us.

Jesus said, “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Month of March-Dedicated to Saint Joseph, Husband of Our Lady and Foster-Father and Guardian of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Novena to St Joseph: 10th March-19th March:

Today we are on Day 3 of our special Novena in honour of St Joseph.  This is taken from www.ourcatholicprayers.com   I will keep posting this link for you throughout the days of the Novena which runs until 19th March.

A Novena To St. Joseph: For Powerful Assistance (ourcatholicprayers.com)

Saint Joseph, pray for us. Amen.

Here is the information from the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales with more details about the Year of Saint Joseph.

Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales (cbcew.org.uk)

Here are some special prayers we can say throughout this month and during the Year of Saint Joseph.  These are from www.ourcatholicprayers.com

Prayers to St. Joseph: To the Most Loving of Fathers (ourcatholicprayers.com)

Links for live streamed Holy Mass online: (Weekend/Sunday Mass):

As these days of lockdown continue, here are the links for the live streamed Holy Mass online for you.  We are blessed in these days to have the gift of the Internet and online worship which can still be accessed at any time.  To help support and nourish your faith in these days, here are the details of the links for you once again this week so you may search for Holy Mass online where you will be able to access Mass in English, Polish and Malayalam.  May they be a source of comfort and blessing for you.

May the Patron of the Internet, Saint Isidore of Seville, Saint Clare, Patron of all things televisual and Saint Gabriel the Archangel, Patron of Communications and Messages pray for us.

Local Mass live stream:

Mount Carmel Live Streamed Mass Sundays at 4.30pm Every Sunday at 4.30pm Mass will be live-streamed in Mount Carmel Church—Church is closed for this Mass Link www.eventcast.uk/live   (Please note: type the link into the browser on your computer, do not use a search engine)

St Chad’s Cathedral – Birmingham – Roman Catholic

Parishes with Live Streams | Birmingham Diocesan Trust (birminghamdiocese.org.uk) 

Holy Mass in Polish – Mass-online.orgMass-online.org (mass-online.org) 

Holy Mass in Tamil & Malayalam – Mass-online.orgMass-online.org (mass-online.org) 

Our Lady of Good Counsel – Archdiocese of Birmingham Ethnic Chaplaincies, Eparchies and Missions 

Season of Lent:

We are now in the Third Week of Lent.  Lent lasts for 40 days and the three ‘pillars’ of Lent are PRAYERFASTING and GIVING. The number 40 has many references in scripture (over 120 mentions) and it has spiritual significance.  There are many Bible study websites online which you could access to discover more.

40 days was seen as a time of reflection and preparation for future events.  Jesus chose to spend 40 days and nights in the wilderness to pray and fast as a means of communing deeply with His Heavenly Father.  This time spent in the desert helped Him to clear His mind and prepare mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the three years of ministry that would follow and which would culminate in His Passion, Death and Resurrection.

CAFOD Lent Appeal – GIVING:

This year for Lent, CAFOD are focusing on water and for there to be local safe and clean water for everyone in our world so communities around the world do not have to walk so far to reach it. They are campaigning and encouraging individuals and families, to walk for water as so many of our brothers and sisters around the world do not have access to clean safe water as we do.  Here is their link with more details and how you might like to take up the challenge for GIVING with the Walk 10,000 steps a day for Lent for water campaign.

Lent Appeal 2021 | CAFOD

Catholic international development charity | CAFOD

Prayer and preparation during Lent-Thanksgiving for the Gift of the Holy Eucharist and Sacred Passion of the Lord.

Lenten Preparation – PRAYER

Lent helps us to focus and meditate upon the precious gift of the Lord’s Body and Blood and the Holy Eucharist and His many Sufferings and Death in His Sacred Passion.

A beautiful prayer we can continue to pray into and during the Season of Lent to help us is the Divine Mercy Chaplet.  This prayer is traditionally prayed at the Hour of Mercy which is 3pm every day, and is the time when Jesus died on the Cross.  More information about this devotion can be found here in the link below and how to pray it.

How to Recite the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy | The Divine Mercy

You can pray this Chaplet on a set of ordinary Rosary beads, and it is traditional for each of the five sets of beads as we pray the prayers to either remember:

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary: 

(The Agony in the Garden; The Scourging at the pillar; The Crowning with thorns; The Carrying of the Cross; The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus) 

or The Five Sacred Wounds of Jesus: 

(His pierced Hands and Feet and Heart/Side.) 

Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet reminds us of God’s wonderful and deep love for us because in John 3:16 NRSV Catholic Edition we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.”

God’s love and mercy is deep and everlasting.  During this month of February, let us draw closer to our loving God and thank Him for all that He is as we seek to grow in our love and faith.

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions:

I also include a link to the Holy Father Pope Francis’ Special Prayer Intentions for the month of March from Missio.  www.missio.org.uk   

Pope Francis – March Prayer Intention – Missio

As we are now in the Season of Lent our Cycle of Prayer has changed focus too.  Here is the link for the Liturgy Office website with more details of this Season’s Prayer Intentions for Lent.

Cycle of Prayer | Lent (liturgyoffice.org.uk)

Our prayer this month: Prayers taken from the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the whole world. Amen.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Amen.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.  Amen.

Lenten preparation – FASTING:

Is there something that you have chosen to give up for Lent this year? FASTING does not have to be simply giving up that favourite snack or bar of chocolate.  Perhaps, you might want to think about giving up something different this Lent?

Have you thought about FASTING to help support caring for our planet home? You could consider doing things and give things up which can support green initiatives – examples might be – turning lights off when not in a room, switching appliances off standby, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth. Simply type in “Eco ideas for Lent” into your internet browser to find out more!

Here is a link from CAFOD all about Pope Francis’ Letter called Laudato Si. There are also resources about his latest work –Fratelli Tutti.

Laudato Si’ encyclical resources | CAFOD

Weekly School Community Prayers:

Every week I shall be offering intercessory prayers when I access daily Mass online for each of the MAC School Communities.  Every day this week I shall be holding in prayer before the Lord, all the Staff, Pupils, Families and Governors/Directors who belong to: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic First School.

Daily special candle offered for all MAC Staff, pupils and their families – Spring Term 2 – February-March 2021

As we now journey onwards through Lent and into a new Half Term, let us continue to place all our prayers and petitions into Our Lady’s hands.

A special candle continues to burn again for us all in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.  May they keep us all safe and well in these days of trial perplexity and confusion. May your days and weeks go well for you, your pupils, and their families in these days within all the School Communities in our MAC.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us. Amen.

St Thomas More, pray for us. Amen.

St Peter, pray for us. Amen.

St Bede the Venerable, pray for us, Amen.

St Augustine of Canterbury, pray for us.  Amen.

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us.  Amen

Daily Scripture:

Our daily scripture reading today comes from St Mark’s Gospel. (Mark 12:29-31) Quotation taken from the New revised Standard Version (NRSV) Catholic Bible.

“Jesus answered, ‘The first (commandment) is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord your God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ “

Our prayers for today: 

Today, I will be keeping a candle burning for your intentions and will remember you and your prayer intentions at Mass. 

Let us ask…..

Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us.  Amen.

Our Lady of Consolation, pray for us.  Amen.

Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church, pray for us.  Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Patron of our Archdiocese and our MAC, Health of the Sick and Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us. Amen.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Beauty of Carmel, pray for us.  Amen.

St Luke, Beloved Physician (Doctor) and companion of St Paul the Apostle, Patron of Doctors and Healthcare professionals, pray for us. Amen.

St Jude Thaddeus, Patron of impossible or difficult circumstances, pray for us.  Amen.

St Raphael, Archangel, God’s healing Angel, pray for us.  Amen.

St Catherine of Siena, Patron of Nurses, pray for us.  Amen.

St Camillus of Lellis, Patron of the Sick, pray for us. Amen.

St Sebastian, patron of the sick and plagues of disease, pray for us.  Amen. 

St John Henry Newman, pray for us.  Amen.

Blessed Dominic Barberi, pray for us.  Amen.

St Faustina Kowalska, Apostle of Divine Mercy, pray for us.  Amen

Blessings to you all on this day.

Miss Downes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Catholic Life

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