Pray for children

Will you pray for God's little children?

Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven

This blog invites you to pray for the protection of children and young people. Will you pray for God's little children, from the unborn baby in the womb, the new born baby, little children of all ages and young people.  It could be your child you want to pray for or just any child.  You can pray before the Blessed Sacrament for one hour a week or before a tabernacle in your church.  If you are not able to make it to a church you can pray in your own home. Please join us as we pray.

This blog was set up under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ and our Blessed Lady are its patrons.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you.

Elizabeth greets Mary

ADVENT

A is for Advent, a time of waiting of prayer and of preparation.

D is for the Divine Child we await on Christmas Day

V is for Virgin Mary, who carries the Divine Child

E is for an end to hopelessness

N is for the New Born Child

T is for a time where God is made man.

As we start to focus on ADVENT, let us take some time to prepare well for this Holy and wonderful season. In the month of December we will be praying for children who are not yet born, all those who lie quietly in their mother's wombs just as the baby Jesus once did. We pray also for all the little babies that will be born this month.

New life brings new beginnings and what better way to help new life whether in the womb or just born than by our support through prayer. Prayer when prayed with faith has the power to move mountains. So as we begin our prayer this December let us surround all this new life with our humble prayers of love and protection.

Advent is a time of waiting patiently, for that one child to be born, the Christ child. It is a time of waiting quietly in prayer and preparation for this wonderful event with our Blessed Lady. Each day we pray with Mary for all the unborn babies in their mother;s wombs that God will protect them and their Mother's who carry them.

During this time we await the Divine Child who is God made man. God who humbled himself and came to earth as a little baby. God who is Divine, and now becomes man. He took on our nature so that we could take on His.

We wait with the Virgin Mary, a simple young woman who was chosen by God to be the bearer of the Christ child. Had it not been for Mary's yes to God as seen in Chapter one of St. Luke's Gospel we would never have come to know the true meaning of Christmas and the hope that it brought to all. We thank God for Mary and her great fiat.

Because of Mary's "Yes" to God, our lives have been transformed. The child in Mary's womb is the hope for all mankind. This baby is the end to hopelessness. This unborn child was the one who would be our salvation and would put an end to the hopelessness of death.

A New born child brings life to families and joy to hearts and we thank God for all the beauty he gives in each new life. The greatest new life that God has given to us is His only Son, Jesus Christ. God sent His only Son to us so that we may have life and have it to the full, by being continually with Him in Heaven after our earthly lives.

So this month let us not waste these precious days, let us prepare well as we wait with Mary, our Blessed Mother in Heaven for that special Time, known to us as Christmas Day. That blessed day where God becomes  man and lives among us and makes it possible for us to be able to have communion with our Father in Heaven.

Advent Prayer

With you I am awaiting the birth of your dear Son
With you I am praying that God's will may be done.

With you my soul it rests in peace and ponders on
The things to come, found only in your Blessed Son.

With you Sweet Mother my yearning grows
to see the face of God, made man.

In silence and in peace we pray,
joyfully waiting for that day.

Do you know how important it is to say thanks to God?

If not than begin today. God loves gratitude in a soul.
When we read the Word.
Meditate on the Word.
Pray with the Word.

Its the year of the Word. Why not read a small passage of Sacred Scripture each day and let God speak to your heart.
Here is a light explanation of the Mass. Why not read it with your child/children it is important that we all understand what happens at this holy sacrifice.

Death is swallowed up in victory

November is always the month where we pray for and remember our loved one's who have died.  This month let us keep in our prayers and thoughts all children and young people who are no longer with us but who have gone to their eternal resting place. We also remember the parents, relatives and friends of children and young people who have died.  We deeply miss our loved one's who are not longer with us in the flesh, but are forever in our hearts.  This month let us remember the parents who have lost a child/children.  Let us pray that God will give them the strength to pick up again and live in the hope of resurrection. 

When you are walking down the street

And you've got me on your mind

I'm walking in your footsteps

Only half a step behind. 

And when you face the gentle breeze

Or the wind upon your face,

That's me giving you a great big hug

Or just a soft embrace.

So please don't be unhappy,

Just because I'm out of sight,

Remember that I'm with you,

Every morning, noon and night.

 

Year of the Word

Rejoice Renew Return

Come and See


St. Mary's Parish, James's St., Drogheda and Holy Family Parish, Ballsgrove, Drogheda are hosting a parish mission from 19th -27th October 2019.  EVERYONE IS WELCOME

People are invited to Rejoice in their faith, Renew their baptismal commitment and to Return to receive God's mercy and healing. During this special time, we are called to draw ever closer to Jesus our Lord, and to be strengthened in the bonds of love for one another.

The Ceili team, a Community of priests, religious and lay people who are drawn together by God to evangelise, will lead us all in prayer during the mission.  Please do come and see.  There is a packed programme in both parishes and wonderful music also.  Many local singers and choirs will be providing the music each day and it promises to be a wonderful celebration of faith, hope and love.

Mass will be available each weekday morning in St. Mary's at 7.45 am, then 10.00 am in Holy Family Parish.  There will be evening prayer service in each parish at 8.00 pm. There is a pop up shop in South Gate Shopping Centre if you wish to drop in a petition or have someone pray with you or just for a chat.  There will be Eucharistic Holy hours during the week and also a chance to have a private chat and healing prayers offered for you in the afternoon between 3 and 5 pm.  A time table of all the events is available at the back of both churches.

If you are free, do come and see, God awaits your visit.

 

Lord, you have been our refuge from age to age

This month of October, we are praying for all sick children and young people around the world.  So many children suffer quietly as they carry the heavy cross of illness.  We  remember them all in our prayers.  We ask God to be with them and to give them the strength to cope with the sickness that affects them.  Living daily with pain and suffering is not an easy task and yet so many children and young people take up their cross and carry it daily with great patience and love.

Dear Lord, be with  all sick and suffering children/young people this day and each day of their lives, grant them healing, patience and understanding.

Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.

This September we remember in our prayers children and young people who either begin or continue in their education. We pray for little children starting school for the first time, for those returning after the summer vacation, for young people beginning third level education and for those already there who are returning. We also pray for children who do not receive the gift of education.

Starting school for the first time can be daunting for the little child and indeed tearful for the parents. We ask God to bless and protect all the little children who will begin school this September. May it be a time of happiness and growth for them.

Returning to School can be a delight for some children and young people but for others there can be elements of fear, from peers and even teachers. We pray that children and young people will not have to deal with being bullied at school.

Starting college for young people can be a great adventure. There are so many new challenges but also many temptations. College days for some are an education in the vices in life and not necessarily for their good. We pray that those starting college will be given the grace to conduct themselves in a manner pleasing to God and not follow the ways of the world. May they learn new subjects and grow and develop into wonderful young adults.

We pray for all parents, as they prepare to send their children to school. Parents make many sacrifices for their children. Education is expensive and most parents do without so that their children may receive an education. There is also the emotional detachment of having to let your little children leave home to face the big world where anything can happen. May God strengthen all parents as they provide for their family.

We pray for teachers, and college lecturers, may they treat each person they encounter with the respect, dignity and love they deserve. May God grant them the strength and patience to do so.

My Spirit Rejoices in God my Saviour

Today is the Feast of The Assumption of Our Blessed Lady into Heaven.  It is a wonderful feast.  Mary was given to us by Jesus Christ, her son at the foot of the Cross as our Spiritual Mother. She was assumed into Heaven.  She was the perfect human, free from original sin. Today we honour Our Blessed Lady and Mother.  Like Mary, may we too glorify the Lord with all our hearts, all our minds, all our souls and all our bodies.  May we also rejoice in God our Saviour because He truly has done great things for us and His name is indeed Holy. Oh Mary conceived without sin, pray for us on this your feast day.

Yahweh my God, I take refuge in you.

It is with a heavy heart that I ask all who read this blog to pray.  The past week and a half have brought some very sad news reports.  Four young people have died through tragic circumstances. 

The death of a child for any parent is said to be one of the worst pains.  My own mother burried my sister who had been ill most of her life and who died at a young age.  My dear mam's heart was broken and it took her a long time just to come to terms with her death.  In the past while, I have known friends who have also burried children and their pain was indeed mighty. 

We remember

Nora Quoirin R.I.P.   aged 15

Mickey Leddy R.I.P.    aged 15

Jessica Moore R.I.P.  aged 19

Avery Greene R.I.P.   aged  3

May they rest in the peace.

We also keep their parents, families and friends in our prayers as they struggle with the pain and loss that death brings.  May our Blessed Lady and her Son Jesus Christ, be a source of strength and comfort for them. Amen.

Fleadh Ceoil 2019

Today the Fleadh Ceoil has begun for another year in Drogheda.  Many children have been there  enjoying the fun and playing their musical instruments.  Please keep all the children who attend the Fleadh this week in your prayers.  May they have simple fun and stay safe.

The law of Yahweh is perfect, refreshment to the soul

August is here and this month we will be praying for children and young people who are self willed. In our world there are children and young people who will listen to no one, who think they know what is best and as a result of their inability to seek wisdom they suffer much and turn away from the ways of God.  We also pray for parents who suffer having to watch their children making bad choices and knowing the outcome.  One such parent was Saint Monica.  Her son Augustine was a self willed person.  He refused to listen to the sound advise of his mother Monica but instead he did what he wanted and went down many wrong paths.  It was the  constant prayers offered to God on his behalf by his mother that enabled him to change.  This month may our prayers be like those of Saint Monica, constant prayers for souls who will not listen to sound advice. Saint Monica watch over our children.

Waste Not Want Not

May 2019 intention

The eyes are the windows to the soul. Sometimes it is difficult to stare someone in the face, for fear of engaging eye contact. There is no such escape when those adds appear before you on television in between episodes of your favourite soap, appealing for support for those in need. Those most in need are the vulnerable children caught up in wars, or suffering on account of famine or neglect. The add makers use images of the little children when seeking our donations. Their cameras zoom in on the emaciated bodies of poorly-clad babies and infants. In particular, the lenses pick out their eyes. In some of the adds, the eyes are beautiful, enormous, belying the appearance of the tiny, tortured bodies that attempt to support them. Yet, there is something missing. Expression. There is no indication from those beautiful organs as to what the little person is thinking, feeling, of what is going on in the soul. At such a young age when eyes should be illustrating internal change and feelings, and reflecting the wondrous external images that the world has to offer, the windows of the soul are opaque to the horrors that they have witnessed and experienced in such a short life-time.
Walking through yet another super-market in our town, in an effort to source the household needs on a tailored budget, we are once more overwhelmed by the over-stacked shelves and pallets of thousands of foodstuffs, clothes and household items available for our delectation. “Don’t buy one, but a second for half price. Hey, don’t buy two, buy three for two. Sure, look, if you buy six of these, we’ll give you 25% off.” It is nice to have a choice, to be able to afford what you need, but there appears to be an aggressive strategy to force us towards gluttony and extravagance. It is hard to believe that the combined efforts of ordinary customers actually consume all that is on offer in our retail stores. It is easier to accept that the opposite is true when we read that butter mountains are returning to the EU.
The charity shops appear to be flush with goods whenever we make a donation. Some items on display are of top quality, with little wear or tear. We picked up a number of books over the years that you would be hard-pushed to find in the well-stacked shelves of our local library. And the number of outlets, and the number of organisations that they represent appear to be growing as their vans pull up outside to unload the latest contributions. This is good, very good indeed. Those that can afford to do so, are supporting the less well-off. There is a ‘re-cycling’ of wealth. But unfortunately, there is also a dreadful epidemic of waste.
We have a problem understanding people who waste good food, when they surely know – from those haunting adds at least – that there are children and their parents who could do with the nourishment. We have been guilty of waste despite our efforts. Sometimes we succumb to the ‘naked aggression’ of the offers in our store; or our relatives succumb and arrive at our door with a few of our favourite things. We put on weight, and dispose of the excess when it goes out of date. We have tried to give it away but there is so much of it; and food is perishable. In most developed countries, over half of all food waste takes place in the home.
We don’t like dining that much in restaurants. Perhaps if the cooking or customer habits improved, or both, we would enjoy it more. But when the waiters scoop up and spirit away plates of half-eaten meals, we start to see those beautiful big eyes again and imagine them looking upon the bin loads of food, to be collected with the rest of the rubbish.
We have been fortunate to have travelled to other countries, on either holidays or pilgrimages. In “well-off” parts of the world, we have witnessed richness and poverty, side by side. We have seen fruit rotting away on bushes after harvesting. We have seen them wither up and die on the ground. We assumed this was something to do with maintaining a market-price for the product, but we have read that certain standards are required with an over-emphasis on appearance – we prefer our cucumbers straight; a melon might be too large to eat. For this and other problems such as storage facilities, labour shortages and costs, roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food. The amount of food wasted by the consumers – 40% in industrialised countries - comes from a large percentage which has already been wasted between the production to retailing stage – from the farm to the fork - especially in Europe, North America & Oceania and Industrialised Asia. All the world’s nearly one billion hungry people could be fed on less than a quarter of the food that is wasted in the US, UK and Europe. The food wasted by the United States and Europe alone could feed the world 3 times over. 2.3 billion people are joining the planet by 2050 – this will require a 60-70% increase in global food production. Or we can just stop throwing away our food!
It is a sobering thought to consider what the average man, woman and child can do to influence these profound matters, on behalf of their starving brothers and sisters, and their little children in strife-torn, underdeveloped and weather-beaten parts of our planet. In its report, “Behind the Brands,” Oxfam International focused on 10 of the world’s biggest and most influential food and beverage companies – Coca-Cola, Danone, Kellogg’s, Mars and Nestle, to name but five. These corporations are so powerful that their policies can have a major impact on the diets and working conditions of people world-wide, as well as on the environment. How do we influence the major influencers? Start by just thinking about what we really need to survive. Write it down and stick to your list when you go shopping. While it is always a good idea to have a little in store, don’t buy what you cannot and will not use.
Perhaps the foregoing piece of advice is too simplistic, a bit naïve and unrealistic for some. A man who has witnessed great poverty and certainly has the resources to inform his opinion, Pope Francis, has referenced the parable of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes on many occasions. He has said that it teaches us exactly this: that if there is the will, what we have never ends. On the contrary, it abounds and does not get wasted. When considering the question of bounty and waste, we should follow the teaching of this miracle. Jesus himself told the apostles, after the multitudes had been fed, to “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” So, they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. He will provide plenty for everyone, with some to spare.
Returning to the eyes of the little children at the start, we should also recount the words of Matthew 6: 22-23,
(22) The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, [a] your whole body will be full of light. (23) But if your eyes are unhealthy, [b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

The eyes of the little children do not appear to be full of darkness. They are beautiful but there is a void within which must be filled again with hope and all the needs required for a developing human being. We can do that in the short term, but we can also ensure that no one goes hungry on this planet if we follow the example of Jesus.

We pray for:
An end to all waste so that no one, especially little children, goes hungry
Consumers that they may be prudent in their choices
Producers that they may reduce waste and distribute more upon the children in need

References:

Independent.ie, 10.5.19

https://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/why-save-food

http://www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en/

http://www.olioex.com/food-waste/food-waste-facts/

http://www.theworldcounts.com/counters/worldfoodconsumptionstatistics/worldfoodwastestatis

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tencompaniesthatcontroltheworldsfood2014-09-01

http//www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/pope-francis-on-the-parable-of-the-loaves-and-fishes

John 6:5-15

 

 

The Lord hears the cry of the poor

This month of April, let us remember all those who are suffering from starvation.  There is so much hunger in our world today.  This should not be the case as a lot of countries have an overproduction of food.  What is the real cause of people dying from starvation? Perhaps it could be from a lack of love. Greed is the opposite to love, love of self denies love of others.  Change only has to start with each individual person.  If everyone ate less, then they would be more conscious of what others did not have instead of thinking of what they want and should have.  Christ did not think of himself, instead he thought of others needs.  He did without quiet time in prayer in order to feed the multitude, His compassion reached out to all.  This lent, this month of April along with praying for starving children and their families, put your hand into your pocket and give a little to children who have nothing.  Think of the waste that happens at meal times or in restaurants where a lot of food is thrown into bins.  If less was put on the plates more could be given to those in great need.  The widow in the gospel put in all she had.  We are not asked to do the same but to open our hearts to those with no food. Every time we look at all we have on our plates let us think of those who have nothing and donate something small to them.  The problem of starvation is a huge problem and one that you or I cannot solve but we can open our hearts to the cry of the poor. 

Let the little children come to me, do not stop them

Sr. Clare Crockett

Another month is here and this time we will pray for all the children around the world who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of First Confession, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. March 2019 Intention

Recently I was watching a film about a young nun from Derry in Northern Ireland. Her name was Sr. Clare Crockett. She was a young lady, a budding actress who left her career and the open doors to fame behind, to give her life to God. She was described by her mother "as being dramatic, she wanted to go to Hollywood and she was going to be a great star. She made a film, she did interviews, she got offered a job and was asked to make another film. And then she left and went with the Sisters."

What struck me most as I watched the short film made about her life was the way in which she prepared the little children she was teaching in Ecuador for their first Holy Communion. I was so struck with the reverence those little children had for Jesus in the holy Eucharist. As they processed to the altar to receive Holy Communion, their hands were joined, their heads bowed in prayer and not a glance or even a smile was given to parents, relatives or friends. Their total focus was on Jesus. These children seemed so small and yet Sr. Clare had managed to impart to them this holy reverence that is needed in the presence of God. Sr. Clare's attitude was: it is either yes or no; everything or nothing, black or white, but not halfway. This attitude showed in the way she prepared the little children for their first Holy Communion, exemplifying her motto of All or Nothing.

As little children prepare to receive Jesus today, what is their preparation like? Is it about Jesus or the things that surround their day - dress, money, friends, family etc. Will Jesus be the centre of their attention when they come to meet him on that special day?

Today's Sunday mass was a preparation mass for all those who will be making their Confirmation. The children were present along with their parents/guardians and their sponsors. Our parish priest highlighted the special, very important role of the child’s sponsor in his/her preparation for receiving the sacrament. The choice of sponsor is critical and the person selected must be qualified in accordance with Canon 874. He or she must be a Catholic, confirmed, having received Holy Communion and leading a life of faith in keeping with the role for which he or she has been selected. The sponsor will be an ever-present support for the candidate in their journey to receiving the Holy Spirit, share in going to Mass on Sunday, explaining why it is important to be there and why it is important to follow Jesus, and act as God would want us.( www.answers.com)

In asking not only the children and their sponsors, but also the parents/guardians and the entire congregation to undertake a support role for the candidates in their preparation for the sacrament, it is clear that being a role model, guide, mentor, parent is not just an undertaking which ends with the ceremony on the day, but is one which must continue throughout the life of the child. It is that strong and that important a commitment and one which you realise more and more as you gain wisdom with age! In your life and indeed in your death, it is necessary that people gave witness to the fact that you were a follower and a believer.

Let us pray for all God's little one's as they prepare to meet him in the Holy Eucharist, and in Confirmation and let us also pray for their parents, teachers, families and friends that they too will be like Sr. Clare in the way they help them to prepare for their encounter with Christ.