November 2020: Prayers and Reflections
Prayers and Reflections for November
All Saints • 1 November
Today’s liturgy invites us: ‘Let us all rejoice in the Lord’. The saints are too numerous to count. They include all the canonised saints – but they also number all the gracious people of goodness from every tribe, tongue, nation and epoch who reflected God’s love faithfully. They touched and enriched our lives with love, forgiveness, laughter, humour and countless ‘unremembered acts of kindness.’
All Souls • 2 November
The word ALL is small. It includes everyone. No-one is outside the unconditional mercy and love of God. The prayers from the Masses are consoling and reassuring: ‘Listen kindly to our prayers, O Lord’; ‘look mercifully’; ‘may they pass over to a dwelling of light and peace’; ‘may they receive the joy of eternal happiness’.
St Martin de Porres (1579-1639) • 5 November
Martin was way ahead of today’s Black Lives Ma er movement through his sense of social justice for the poor and the deprived. He befriended hundreds of poor families. Martin revered human dignity and showed compassion and concern for the lost and the lowest. His life praised, blessed and preached God’s love for everyone.
St Leo the Great (400-461) • 10 November
‘Christian, remember your dignity. You have been rescued from the powers of darkness.’
Christmas Office of Readings
St Martin of Tours (316-397) • 11 November
Martin was a soldier and he became a catechumen in preparation for his baptism in his 20s. He was ordained a priest and was appointed as Bishop of Tours. But it was while in the army as a soldier that he is best remembered. One day he met a poor man. Martin cut his own cloak in half with his sword and gave one half to the poor man. Jesus appeared to Martin in a dream, wearing the cloak he shared.
St Columban (540-590) • 23 November
‘If you wish to know the Creator – know creation.’ We remember the Columban Missionaries who serve in solidarity and friendship with the poor and the marginalised. They connect with different cultures and communities in a genuine spirit of reconciliation, dialogue, justice, peace, gospel values and the integrity of creation.
Let not your hearts be troubled (John 14:1)
November brings a particular mood as winter takes its hold even on our hearts. The gospel words of Jesus assure us that we have in him, one who shares our loss, grief and sadness at a time of bereavement. His presence can mend the break and heal the wound that time, in all its sharing and parting has made. He whispers: ‘Let not your hearts be troubled’ in the midst of our pain and pathos, so that we may have hope, as we are held and hugged in God’s heart-space of lavish love.
In ainm an Athar Naofa ’tá ar Neamh, in ainm an Mhic d’fhulaing an Páis, a Mhaighdean Mhuire, tar i m’choinnibh, a Mhichíl naofa, glaoimse tú ar láimh, agus beir m’anam soar leat ar uair mo bháis.
An tAifreann Sochraide: Léachtaí, Paidreacha agus Machnaimh (Veritas, 2019)