July-August 2019: Prayers and Reflections

The Pope’s Monthly Intentions

July: The Integrity of Justice
That those who administer justice may work with integrity,
and that the injustice which prevails in the world may not
have the last word.

August: Families, Schools of Human Growth
That families, through their life of prayer and love, become
ever more clearly ‘schools of true human growth.’

Feast of St Benedict • 11 July
Do not offer newcomers to the monastic life an easy entry, but as the Apostle says, Test the spirits to see if they are from God (1 Jn 4:1). So, if someone comes and keeps knocking at the door, and after four or five days has shown himself patient and has persisted in his request, then he should be allowed to stay in the guest quarters for a few days. After that, he should live in the novitiate, where novices study, eat and sleep. A senior brother, chosen for his skill in winning souls, should be appointed to look after them with careful attention. The concern must be to discover whether the novice truly seeks God and shows eagerness for the Work of God, for obedience, and for trials. The Rule of St Benedict 58

Pope Francis’ Exhortation to Youth
Dear young friends, do not let [masters of manipulation] exploit your youth to promote a shallow life that confuses beauty with appearances. Realize that there is beauty in the labourer who returns home grimy and unkempt, but with the joy of having earned food for his family. There is extraordinary beauty in the fellowship of a family at table, generously sharing what food it has. There is beauty in the wife, slightly dishevelled and no longer young, who continues to care for her sick husband despite her own failing health. Long after the springtime of their courtship has passed, there is beauty in the fidelity of those couples who still love one another in the autumn of life, those elderly people who still hold hands as they walk. Christus Vivit 183

Prayer of St Augustine – feast day, 28 August
Late have I loved you, O beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved you! For behold you were within me, and I outside; and I sought you outside and in my ugliness fell upon those lovely things that you have made. You were with me and I was not with you… You called and cried to me and broke open my deafness: and you sent forth your beams and shone upon me and chased away my blindness… you touched me, and I have burned for your peace. Confessions 10.27

Preaching and Worship
Because the homily is an integral part of the liturgy, it is not only an instruction, it is also an act of worship. When we read the homilies of the Fathers, we find that many of them concluded their discourse with a doxology and the word ‘Amen’: they understood that the purpose of the homily was not only to sanctify the people, but to glorify God. The homily is a hymn of gratitude for the magnalia Dei, which not only tells those assembled that God’s Word is fulfilled in their hearing, but praises God for this fulfillment. Congregation for Divine Worship, Homiletic Directory 4