Hello everyone, good morning to you.
I hope that your Half Term break went well for you and you were able to get some much-needed rest and relaxation.
We begin a new Half Term now and may the Lord bless, guide and encourage you in these days.
Welcome to Monday’s Spiritual Lift for you today. May it be a source of encouragement and blessing for you.
Today is the Feast of the Chair of St Peter. Here is some information about this Feast from 2020 taken from Catholic Culture’s website.
Weekly Scripture Verse:
Our scripture verse for us to ponder and pray for this week comes from the Letter to the Hebrews. (Heb.10:23) 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. May these words help us as we begin another day and week in Lockdown.
“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.”
Season of Lent begins:
We began the Holy Season of Lent on Wednesday last week, and we have now started on our Lenten journey with Jesus into the wilderness. Lent lasts for 40 days and the three ‘pillars’ of Lent are PRAYER, FASTING 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’s CAFOD Fast Day for Lent will be on Friday 26th February. Their focus is all about water and waking 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.
Month of February: 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.
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 for February from Missio. www.missio.org.uk We ask for the prayers of Saint Josephine Bakhita during this month also in union with this intention.
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.
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.
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: Holy Family Catholic MAC of Schools.
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
Our daily scripture reading today comes from The First Letter of St Peter. (1 Pet.5:4) Quotation taken from the New revised Standard Version (NRSV) Catholic Bible.
“When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will win the crown of glory that never fades away.”
Our prayers for today:
Today, I will be keeping a candle burning for your intentions and will remember you and your prayer intentions at daily Mass online.
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.
St Josephine Bakhita, pray for us. Amen.
St Peter, Apostle, pray for us. Amen.
Blessings to you all on this day.