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Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for February 2012

February 20, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for February ‘12

Today, we celebrate the birthday of George Washington, Soldier, Statesman, and President – the Father  of Our Country.  It was because of his strength that this Republic survived all the tempests surrounding it, and is still a beacon of liberty to many of the world’s peoples even today.  He writes in his Farewell Address:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Certain unalienable rights.  Marvelous words to this day.  How exciting it must have been to have witnessed all that was beginning?   And yet, Two hundred and thirty six years later, many around the world have none of these essentials, and are in fact still striving for food or even fresh water – something we often take for granted and matter-of-fact.


Pope Benedict’s General Intention

Access to Water.

That all peoples may have access to water and other resources needed for daily life.


In what ways do I value and conserve the water that I consume every day?


Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.  Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.  Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine. (Ezekiel 47:9, 12)


Pope Benedict’s Mission Intention

Health Workers.

That the Lord may sustain the efforts of health workers assisting the sick and elderly in the world’s poorest regions.

Reflection: What are some of the qualities that you have appreciated in health care workers who have cared for you or a loved one?

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?”  He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” 

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)

(Reflections and Scripture from the Apostleship of Prayer)

Prayer of the Month

God our Father, you sent your Son Jesus to reveal the great love you have for each one. Look upon the world’s health care workers—doctors, nurses, administrators, and all who serve our brothers and sisters who are sick. They share in your Son’s ministry of healing. May they continue his work with respect for the sacredness of life and with the compassion that filled the Heart of Jesus when he met anyone who was sick.


I hope you took today, this President’s Day celebrating the birthday of George Washington, and instead of having a day off (if you did), and be proactive in the face of injustice, contemplative in the way you can make a positive difference in the world. As my friend Richard Lane says, this is a day ON, loving and serving one another.

It has always been my creed that we should not be left as an awful monument to prove that Mankind, under the most favourable circumstances for civil liberty and happiness, are unequal to the task of Governing themselves, and therefore made for a Master.

George Washington to Lafayette, June 19, 1788

Happy Birthday George.



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