February 2021: Prayers and Reflections
Prayers and Reflections for February
Pope’s Intentions for the month
Universal – Violence against women
We pray for women who are victims of violence, that they may be protected by security and have their sufferings considered and heeded.
St Brigid – 1 February
The name Brigid means ‘the exalted one.’ She is known as Mary of the Gael. One significant virtue about Brigid which outshone all others was her generosity. When it came to serving the poor, she said, ‘If I had the power to give away the whole of Leinster, I would willingly give it to God’s poor.’
The Presentation in the Temple: Candlemas – 2 February
On this feast an elderly couple, Anna and Simeon make a prophecy as they see the forty day old Child Jesus presented in the temple. They call him a ‘light to enlighten all peoples.’
(World Day for Consecrated Life – 2 February)
We give thanks for all the prophetic, consecrated religious who bless people with a presence of ‘kindly light’, joyful, gospel service and who hold the world and the Church in contemplative prayer.
In the light of the Pope’s Intention for this month, the Church needs to give a voice and help many vulnerable women religious who were hurt by a warped understanding of obedience. The 1959 film, The Nun’s Story, starring Audrey Hepburn as Sr Luke, tells the story of a life that was controlled by a deranged notion of obedience. This issue stifled many good lives and should be addressed urgently.
It is recognised in Canon Law 212:3 that all the baptised have a duty and an authority to speak openly when they see in the Church any injustices and failures to live as the community of God’s people.
Code of Canon Law
World Day of Prayer for the Sick – Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes 11 February
Rí and Domhnaigh mo dhochtúir-se
Is Muire liaigh dom leighis
’sa croch neamh gan rócuirsi
go sgairid mé/thú rem/red theinnis.
(Richard Butler, 15th century Anglo Norman poet)
May the King of Sunday, my doctor,
and Mary my physician in my illness,
and the holy cross, grant that without too great a sorrow
I/you shall be parted from my illness.
(From The Glenstal Book of Prayer #9, p.116)
‘…the growing good of the world is partly dependent on un-historic acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs’.
Middlemarch – written in 1871, George Eliot
‘Think powerfully, positively and confidently.
Once I knew only darkness and silence –
before my heart leaped to the rapture of living.
Your life will unfold for you as you expect it to.’
Helen Keller – blind and deaf from the age of eighteen