October 2019: Prayers and Reflections

Prayers and Reflections for October

Count Your Blessings
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness,
you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this
If you have never experienced the danger of battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment,
the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation,
you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment,
arrest, torture, or death,
you are more blessed than almost three billion people in the
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
over your head and a place to sleep,
you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change
in a dish some place,
you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If your parents are still alive and still married, you are very rare.
If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly
you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them
on the shoulder, you are blessed
because you can offer God’s healing touch.
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing
in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are
more blessed
than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.
You are so blessed in ways you may never even know.
Prayers and Reflections for October

For Missionaries
God, redeemer of all,
I place before you missionaries everywhere.
May they devote themselves fully and courageously to
spreading the good news of our reconciliation to you through
the death and resurrection of your Son, Jesus.
By their lives may they be faithful and living witnesses
to the Gospel they preach.
Encourage them in times of doubt or despair.
May they use all the gifts you have given them in your service.
Protect them from harmful diseases,
from accidents and from violence.
Give them strength to continue on in the face of difficulties
and when their work seems fruitless.
May those at home give them the means necessary
for spreading the good news.
May our sufferings, our prayers and offerings be acceptable
to you and help them in their mission.

Looking to Mary in times of withdrawal
Perhaps at times we can feel tempted to withdraw into
ourselves and our own affairs, safe from the dusty paths of life.
Or regrets, complaints, criticism and sarcasm gain the upper
hand and make us lose our desire to keep fighting, hoping and
loving. At those times, let us look to Mary so that she can free
our gaze of all the ‘clutter’ that prevents us from being attentive
and alert, and thus capable of seeing and celebrating Christ
alive in the midst of his people. And if we see that we are going
astray, or that we are failing in our attempts at conversion, let us
turn to her like a great parish priest from my previous diocese,
who was also a poet. He asked her, with something of a smile:
‘This evening, dear Lady
my promise is sincere;
but just to be sure, don’t forget
to leave the key outside the door.’

Pope Francis
Letter to Priests on the 160th anniversary of the death of St Jean Marie Vianney