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Pope Benedict XVI’s prayer intentions for March ‘12

March 13, 2012

First in intention, last in execution. –  St. Thomas Aquinas

There is a lot of talk these days about women.  How women have the right to do this and the right to do that.  If you vote this way this group will despise you, and if you go the other way that group will despise you.  This generates a lot of additional discussion – you are pro-this and anti-that.  There’s a lot of people on the news and in front of Congress and in my face, telling me if I don’t agree with them, I am spreading hate, and fear.  They’re defining my faith for me, too – what I do and don’t believe.  How generous of them.  But I think we miss the big point all-in-all.  So Aquinas said, “First in intention, last in execution.”  One could argue this point as Woman, as his final creation, was what he intended all along.  The Holy Father’s  General Intention this month is to recognize the contribution of women.  I like to recognize that Woman, His first intention, shares with the Creator something so grand, no one else shares – she shares in creation.  She is vital to creation.  Without her there is nothing.  God had to come up with something sustainable.  It was a good plan – right up until that whole free Will-thing.  But it was sustainable.  Without woman there is nothing; without Mary, there is no Incarnation, no Redemption.  Starting with the First Covenant, the Marriage Covenant, ‘bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23), drawn not from the head to be above another, nor from the foot to be underneath, but from a rib, from the center to be seen as equals. Forever.  It is something the man, who throughout time has used more brawn than brain to keep his Domestic kingship, has often forgotten – we were created as equals, one, Man, to protect, and the other, Woman, to create.  So I would like to say sorry for all those through time who don’t get it, but now that there are those who wish to elevate the role of Woman to its deserved lofty recognition – ladies, let’s not rely on brawn instead of brain, or disregard God’s planned equality.  Don’t ridicule those who wish to esteem.

Not ranting, but it does get a little overwhelming sometimes!  Who doesn’t think Rush Limbaugh was way out-of-bounds?  But everyone is dwelling on the shock of it instead of what it was: it was rude, unkind, ill-mannered, misogynistic  and just bad form.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes the sun rise on the bad and the good” (Matt 5:44,45).  I think if we think first in intention, last in execution, this is a good ending.  After all – and I say this with all humility and respect – we are God’s gift to our women.  Read on – MW

Pope Benedict’s General Intention

Contribution of Women

That the whole world may recognize the contribution of women to the development of society.

Reflection:

What uniquely feminine characteristics contribute to making a better world?

Links –

  • Pope Benedict XVI’s Message to the March 2009 Conference on the theme “Life, Family, and Development: The Role of Women in the Promotion of Human Rights”
  • Pope Benedict XVI’s Address to the February 2008 Conference on the theme “Woman and Man, the ‘Humanum’ in its Entirety”
  • 2004 Letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “On the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World”

Reading:

Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”  God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.  God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.”  God also said: “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food; and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground, I give all the green plants for food.” And so it happened.  God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good. Evening came, and morning followed–the sixth day.. (Genesis 1:26-31)

 

Pope Benedict’s Mission Intention

Persecuted Christians.

That the Holy Spirit may grant perseverance to those who suffer discrimination, persecution, or death for the name of Christ, particularly in Asia.

Reflection:

How is it true, as a Church Father wrote, that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the faith”?

Links –

Reading:

Do not be afraid of anything that you are going to suffer. Indeed, the devil will throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will face an ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” ‘”Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor shall not be harmed by the second death.”‘  (Revelation 2:10-11)

(Reflections and Scripture from the Apostleship of Prayer)

Prayer of the Month

Father, you make your sun to shine on good and bad alike.  Your Son Jesus Christ suffered and died for all.  He now sustains those who suffer persecution and martyrdom for their fidelity to the Church.  May persecuted Christians everywhere remain, like Mary, at the foot of the cross of Christ.  Comfort those menaced by violence.  May your Holy Spirit of love make fruitful the witness of those who die forgiving.  Amen.

—from Aid to the Church in Need

Be sure to take a moment, when you finish reading this, to let your mom, or your wife know how much you appreciate them.

Thanks Mom.

I.X.

Papa

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