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Intercessory Prayer Network – April 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Many of us are making sacrifices beyond what we had planned for this Lent. With the rapid spread of COVID-19, the faithful in the Archdiocese of Vancouver have been deprived of participation in the Mass and other liturgical celebrations which mark the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord. Our priority remains living, with steadfast faith, the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. It is an opportunity for us to deepen our relationship with Jesus, who conquered sin and death.
As Holy Week approaches, let us unite our sufferings with those of the Lord Jesus, and find hope in the Resurrection. Let us remember in particular those who are committed to stopping the spread of the virus, those who are most vulnerable and all who are suffering at this time. Jesus, King of Mercy, we trust in You.
When we are unable to receive Holy Communion sacramentally, we can receive great graces and blessings by expressing our desire to do so through what is called a “Spiritual Communion.” This rich tradition goes back many centuries. There are different models for doing this, but they all include an act of faith, an act of love, an act of desire, an invitation to Jesus and a prayer of thanksgiving.
Please pray for all the faithful around the world: that we will seek God’s love and grace during this challenging time when it is difficult to receive the Sacraments. Please pray also for an increased desire to find ways to receive grace and blessings from our Lord through practices such as Spiritual Communion.
Time with Jesus
This year, our Lenten journey began with a fitting reminder for us today: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Matthew 6:6). As we spend the next little while at home, let us stay close to Jesus who can use this time of disruption to bring us closer to his Heart. May this experience elevate our Lenten journey as we continue to offer our prayer, fasting and almsgiving to Our Lord.
Please pray for a renewed commitment to deepening our relationship with Jesus: that in this time of social distancing and health precautions, we will remain focused on Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Please pray also that our communities of faith will persevere in Lenten sacrifices and in praying, fasting, and works of charity.
Preparation for Sacraments
A number of our students who have been preparing to receive various Sacraments will have to wait until a later time. While they wait to receive them when the parish community can celebrate with them, let us pray that they continue diligently to prepare themselves to receive Jesus and his gifts. This is also an opportune time for our parents, sponsors and teachers to be a holy example of unwavering trust in God. May they be beacons of hope for our young people during the crisis we are experiencing today.
Please pray for our young people preparing to receive the Sacraments: that the Holy Spirit will accompany them along their journey. Please pray also for all parents, sponsors, teachers, and parish communities journeying with these young people: that they may be more intentional in spiritually preparing them through catechesis and formation at home.
Parish & Ministry Leaders
Now more than ever, we are looking to our priests and parish leaders to bring light in the midst of tribulation. With gatherings severely restricted, all of our parishes must find new and fresh expressions of love and care for their communities. While we strive to keep ourselves and our families safe, let us remember our Archbishop, priests, deacons, and parish leaders, that they will be consoled as they continue their sacrificial ministry. Let us also remember the staff and volunteers of the Men’s Hostel and the Door is Open whose hearts for those in need ache deeply at this time. Let us look to these men and women with utmost gratitude as they bring hope to those in fear.
Please pray for our priests, deacons and parish leaders in these challenging times of social distancing and isolation: that they will stay strong in their mission to serve the faithful. Please pray also for their health and safety as they continue to minister and serve. As well, let us pray for the staff and volunteers of the Men’s Hostel and the Door is Open, that Our Lord grant them safety and protection as they continue to serve those in need.
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer. May God bless the work of your hands always.