November 2021: Prayers and Reflections
Prayers and Reflections for November
Prayer for Those Suffering with Depression
(Pope’s Intentions for November)
Lord, You know the darkness that envelops me. This cloud descends on me and, when it does, I seem to lose all perspective. It seems like it will never lift. I know I have pulled out of it before, but when it starts again, it clouds everything. Help me to trust in You in this difficult time. I know that after the rain, the sun shines again and that above the clouds, the sun is always shining. But please impress this conviction in my heart, so that Your gift of hope will carry me through. I believe that You can heal me and so I entrust myself to You. Give me the graces I need to ‘hang in there’ until Your healing Love, which I know is constantly working on me, finally penetrates and gives me the relief that I need.
Out of His infinite glory, may he give you the power
through his Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong.
Poor Clares Galway (poorclares.ie)
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Leave me alone with God as much as may be.
As the tide draws the waters close in upon the shore,
Make me an island,
alone with you, God, holy to you.
Then with the turning of the tide
prepare me to carry your presence to the busy world beyond,
the world that rushes in on me
till the waters come again and fold me back to you.
St Aidan of Lindisfarne, Feast of all the
Saints of Ireland
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The Facts of Death
At some stage when we were children someone took us aside – usually behind closed doors – to explain what were called ‘the facts of life’. But some of us don’t learn the ‘facts of death’ until we stand at our parents’ graveside – and for this there is no dress rehearsal.
If we are blessed to be granted the time span of our own parents we will continue to protect our children and we in turn will cradle theirs. But it is still we who are next.
That process of letting go which began at birth is completed at death. There is a freedom granted with the deaths of one’s parents and not just from the burden of care – though there is that too – but a freedom to move into a larger space, a freedom I some way to be more fully ourselves. This is perhaps their most important legacy, their last gift, and I am happy to have received it, and not left it unopened, unrecognised at the graveside.
Anne Thurston, ‘Small Wonders: Stories of Love, Loss and Letting Go’,
O Lord, grant us that love which can never die, which will enkindle our lamps but not extinguish them, so that they may shine in us and bring light to others. Most dear Saviour, enkindle our lamps that they may shine forever in your temple. May we receive unquenchable light from you so that our darkness will be illuminated and the darkness of the world will be made less. Amen.
Prayer of St Columban, Memorial, 23 November
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Blessing of the Advent Wreath
your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Savior,
who enlightens our hearts and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin.
Pour forth your blessings upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath;
may their light reflect the splendour of Christ,
who is Lord, for ever and ever.
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The graveyard in my local parish was recently damaged and the outcry led me to think more about the Church’s strong focus on praying for the dead. In the process, I learned that not all Christian denominations pray for the dead, many simply remember them. So, I thought, ‘If a person has died long ago, how can my prayers make any difference?’ This question is answered by recalling that God exists in eternity, which is outside of space and time. Therefore, whether we pray for someone during their life, on the day of their funeral, or many years later, all prayers reach God simultaneously. Knowing that prayer is an entry into an eternal, timeless dimension gives us great confidence in the limitless love of God. It reminds us that our prayers can have a positive impact on our departed loved ones and are one of the most charitable things we can do.
Brian Wilson, Ballymena
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