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NOVENA IN PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST -2020- DAY 4

 Monday, May 25th

OPENING  PRAYER:
Father, pour out your Spirit upon all your children,
especially on all the members of our parish family.
Grant us all a new vision of Your glory, a new experience of Your power,
a new faithfulness to Your word, and a new consecration to Your service,
that Your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

REFLECTION: Gabrielle Kelly O.P. – Encounter

It happened a few days after Pentecost, when I was visiting a large city in India to see the work that was being done there by our Sisters. I was walking past a rubbish tip when I saw this woman, salvaging filthy bits of plastic from the foul-smelling heap. I saw her sweaty, dusty face and thought, ‘She is somebody’s family, she could be my own sister! Suddenly it hit me: she is my sister!’
I had been reflecting on those people who had experienced the first Pentecost and wondering how the first Pentecost experience happens in us?
Later, it dawned on me. Wasn’t that encounter with that woman an occasion of the Holy Spirit acting in me? Wasn’t that confronting insight a small ray of the Pentecost experience? Come, light of our hearts! For Pentecost is surely about seeing differently, with Christ’s Spirit bringing not so much new ideas as new enlightenment of the heart, impelling action. The Holy Spirit, Love itself, is the very Spirit of solidarity, bridging every divide, transcending language and every other barrier. The One who teaches us to experience not ‘others’, but sisters and brothers, is indeed the selfsame Spirit who cries ‘Abba’ in our hearts. Could I even now, learn a new sensitivity to the presence of this Spirit, who alone can guide our work aright?
Come, Holy Spirit – come today!

CLOSING LITANY:

Response: Spirit of God, come into our hearts: make us your new creation.
Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us. R.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence. R.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts. R.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.  R.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.  R.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News. R.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.  R.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.  R.
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.  R.

NOVENA IN PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST -2020- DAY 3

May 24th7th Sunday of Easter

OPENING  PRAYER:

Father, pour out your Spirit upon all your children,
especially on all the members of our parish family.
Grant us all a new vision of Your glory, a new experience of Your power,
a new faithfulness to Your word, and a new consecration to Your service,
that Your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

REFLECTION: Pope Francis – The Joy of Discipleship

The older theologians used to say that the soul is a kind of sailboat, the Holy Spirit is the wind that fills its sails and drives it forward, and the gusts of wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Lacking his impulse and his grace, we do not go forward. The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the living God and saves us from the threat of a Church that is closed in on itself. He impels us to open the doors and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel, to communicate the joy of faith, the encounter with Christ. Speaking to the apostles at the Last Supper, Jesus said that after he left this world he would send them the gift of the Father, that is, the Holy Spirit (John 15:26). This promise was powerfully fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, who were gathered in the Upper Room. This extraordinary outpouring was not limited solely to that moment but was an event that was renewed and still continues to be renewed.

CLOSING LITANY:

Response: Spirit of God, come into our hearts: make us your new creation.
Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us. R.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence. R.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts. R.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.  R.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.  R.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News. R.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.  R.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.  R
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.  R.

NOVENA IN PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST – 2020 DAY 2

May 23rd – Saturday after Ascension Day

OPENING  PRAYER:

Father, pour out your Spirit upon all your children,
especially on all the members of our parish family.
Grant us all a new vision of Your glory, a new experience of Your power,
a new faithfulness to Your word, and a new consecration to Your service,
that Your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

REFLECTION: Sister Margaret Halaska – I like what I see

The Father knocks at my door, seeking a home for his son.
Rent is cheap, I say.
I don’t want to rent.  I want to buy, says God.
I’m not sure I want to sell, but you might come in to look around.
I think I will, says God.
I might let you have a room or two.
I like it, says God,  I’ll take the two.
You might decide to give me more some day: I can wait, says God
I’d like to give you more, but it’s a bit difficult. I need some space for me.
I know, says God, but I’ll wait.  I like what I see.
Hm, maybe I can let you have another room. I really don’t need that much.
Thanks, says God, I’ll take it.  I like what I see.
I’d like to give you the whole house but I’m not sure.
Think on it, says God,  I wouldn’t put you out.
Your house would be mine and my son would live in it.
You’d have more space than you’d ever had before. I don’t understand at all.
I know, says God, but I can’t tell you about that.
You’ll have to discover it for yourself.
That can only happen if you let him have the whole house. A bit risky, I say.
Yes, says God, but try me. I’m not sure – I’ll let you know.
I can wait, says God.  I like what I see.

CLOSING LITANY:

Response: Spirit of God, come into our hearts: make us your new creation.

Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us. R.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence. R.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts. R.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.  R.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.  R.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News. R.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.  R.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.  R
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.  R.

NOVENA IN PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST – 2020 DAY 1

May 22nd – Friday after Ascension Day

OPENING  PRAYER:

Father, pour out your Spirit upon all your children,
especially on all the members of our parish family.
Grant us all a new vision of Your glory, a new experience of Your power,
a new faithfulness to Your word, and a new consecration to Your service,
that Your love may grow among us and your Kingdom come.
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

RELECTION: John Dalrymple – Costing Not less than Everything

You cannot be neutral about God. Once you know that He exists and is your Creator, you have to respond to Him with everything you have. To admit God into a part of your life, a ‘religious’ part which exists alongside many other parts but has no influence on them, is not really to admit God into your life at all. The Father that Jesus Christ revealed to us and put us in touch with enters into every part of our life – he is Creator and Lord of All – and makes total demands on us . . . What God asked of the saints and Jesus Himself, He asks of all His followers. We are all called to what they achieved.

CLOSING LITANY:

Response: Spirit of God, come into our hearts
make us your new creation.

Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us. R.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence. R.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts. R.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.  R.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.  R.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News. R.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.  R.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.  R
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.  R.

WEDNESDAY PRAYER

SONG OF PRAISE:  Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
because he has looked upon the humiliation of his servant.
Yes, from now onwards all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name, and his faithful love extends age after age
to those who fear him.
He has used the power of his arm, he has routed the arrogant of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and raised high the lowly,
He has filled the starving with good things, sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his faithful love,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.

LITANY OF PRAISE: Holy is your name, O Lord!

SCRIPTURE READING:  Acts of the Apostles 1:12-14

So from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, the apostles went back to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a Sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude, son of James. With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

The word of the Lord.

REFLECTION: (Fr.Raniero Cantalamessa OFM.Cap)
Considering how rarely Mary is mentioned in the New Testament, it comes as a bit of a surprise to realise that, in fact, she was present at all three stages that form the Christian mystery and the Church; that is, at the Incarnation, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of her Son and at Pentecost. In the upper room, Mary is mentioned together with other women, just as she was on Calvary. To all appearances, she was present just like any one of these, neither more nor less. But here, too, the title “Mother of Jesus”, which comes immediately after her name, puts her on a much higher level than the women and even the apostles themselves. What does the fact that Mary was present as the mother of Jesus signify? That the Holy Spirit, who was about to come, was “the Spirit of her Son”! There was an objective and indestructible bond between her and the Holy Spirit: the same Jesus that together they both gave birth to. In the Creed we say that Jesus became incarnate “by the power of the Holy Spirit from the Virgin Mary.” Mary was not, therefore, in the upper room, the cenacle, simply as one of the women.
Beneath the Cross, Mary appeared as the mother of the Church; now, in the cenacle, she appeared as the godmother of the Church – a strong and sage godmother. In order to become a godmother, a person must first have been baptized. This was the case of Mary: she was baptized by the Spirit and now assisted the Church at its baptism by the Spirit. When an adult is being baptized, the godmother helps with the preparations, and this was what Mary did with the apostles and does with us.

INTERCESSIONS: Lord Jesus, may your mother pray for us.

CLOSING PRAYER:Almighty God, you loved the world so much that you gave your only Son to take on our human nature and be born of the Virgin Mary; grant that as we are reborn in him, so we may always be supported by the love and prayers of his mother and every day grow in the grace of the Holy Spirit, until we are brought to sing your praises with her in heaven: through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

UNIVERSAL PRAYER – SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTERTIDE

CELEBRANT:  Let us turn to the Father with faith and gratitude, for He never rejects our prayers for His help.

For Pope Francis and bishops across the world, that God’s Spirit of Wisdom will guide their words and actions as they lead us all through these difficult times: we pray to the Lord.  (Pause)
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For Government ministers and scientific advisers, that God’s Spirit of Truth will help them to discern the best advice to give to the nation in the light of the constantly changing evidence: we pray to the Lord.  (Pause)
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For all key workers in care homes, hospitals and in the community, that God’s Spirit of Love will empower them to continue to give generously of their care and  their skills, despite the difficulties and dangers they face: we pray to the Lord. (Pause)
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For all who mourn for beloved victims of the virus, that God’s Spirit of Peace will bring them comfort, strength and hope for the future: we pray to the Lord.  (Pause)
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For the children of our parish, especially those who were expecting to celebrate their first Holy Communion soon, that God’s Spirit of Holiness and Grace will dwell in them and in their families and sustain them in this time of waiting: we pray to the Lord.  (Pause)
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
For every member of our parish, that, striving to live each day in accordance with Christ’s Commandments of Love, God’s Spirit of Joy will fill their hearts and minds and lead them to praise God for His tremendous deeds and His enduring love: we pray to the Lord.  (Pause)
Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
Let us ask Mary to be our model of obedience to the will of the Father: Hail Mary . . .
In silence, let us make our own petitions for those who are sick in mind or body.

(Long pause)

CELEBRANT:  Father, we cry out to You in this time of great distress and uncertainty.
Help us to put all our trust in You, knowing that we make these prayers through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Join us for Rosary

Month of Our Lady 
Dear brothers and sisters,

I hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe these strange times.
May we please join the Holy Father for daily rosary during this month of May. I have attached below the full text of Pope Francis’ letter to all the faithful this month of May.
You can join us everyday at 6.00pm, starting from tomorrow Friday May 1st.

Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/78145203409?pwd=cXc1U3gxcUU4clVPWFNLMmJrWWFWZz09
Meeting ID: 781 4520 3409 Password: 8F5rty

Masses from our Church St. Clare’s will be streamed live starting from Sunday 3rd of May at 9.30am. Find out more here!

Wishing you every grace and blessing,
Fr. Emeka.

Pope-Francis-Month-of-May

Wednesday Prayer – 29th April 2020

Psalm 61

In God alone be at rest, my soul; for my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold, my fortress: I stand firm.
In God is my safety and glory, the rock of my strength.
Take refuge in God, all you people. Trust him at all times.
Pour out your hearts before him for God is our refuge.
For God has said only one thing: only two do I know:
that to God alone belongs power and to you, Lord, love;
and that you repay each one according to their deeds.

Litany of Praise

(Give praise and thanks for all God is and all He does in your life)

Response after each prayer:

Lord, you are my rock and my stronghold!

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:17-22

Christ came to bring the good news of peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. Through him, we both in the one Spirit have free access to the Father. So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; you are fellow-citizens with the holy people of God and part of God’s household. You are built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets, and Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone. Every structure knit together in him grows into a holy temple in the Lord; and you too, in him, are being built up into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

The word of the Lord.

Reflection:  (Fr.Raniero Cantalamessa)

Through the Spirit we are “at home” with God! St.John in his first letter writes: “We can know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us his Spirit”.

This has a practical consequence for us. The Holy Spirit is the answer to loneliness, which, along with fear and weakness, is the greatest cause of human suffering. What really overcomes suffering?  Certainly not finding yourself in the midst of a great crowd, but rather having a friend, someone to share thoughts with, a companion. If we are open to him, this is what the Holy Spirit wants to be to us. It was Saint Basil who said that the Holy Spirit was “the inseparable companion” of Jesus during his life on earth, and that the Spirit wants to be the same for us. St.John Chrysostom adds that Jesus “always had the assistance of the most agreeable Spirit” just as he seems to suggest that Moses, all his life long, had his brother Aaron as companion and counsellor.

If it is possible for weakness to provide an occasion for us to experience the strength of the Spirit, it is possible for loneliness to be the occasion and also the stimulus for us to experience the Spirit as “sweet guest”. By faith we know that no one is ever truly alone in this world. If we need to speak with someone about something, and it is simply not possible to find anyone to speak to, we can learn, little by little, to talk it over with that guest who is discretion itself and who also is “perfect consoler” and “wonderful counsellor”.

The Spirit reveals himself at various times, either in power and dynamism or in tenderness and intimacy, and we experience him, sometimes in one way and sometimes in another, depending on our need, our disposition and the grace of the moment. On Sinai, Moses perceived God in the thunder and the stormy wind; Elijah, on the same Mount Horeb, perceived God in the gentle breeze.

Intercessions

Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer

Closing Prayer:  (Timothy Dudley Smith)

Spirit of life within me, possess this life of mine;
come as the wind of heaven’s breath, come as the fire divine!
Spirit of Christ, the living Lord, reign in this house of clay,
till from its dust with Christ I rise to everlasting day.