Universal prayer intention: In the Service of Peace

Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict

We all want peace. It is desired above all by those who suffer its absence.

We can speak with splendid words, but if there is no peace in our heart, there will be no peace in the world.

With zero violence and 100 percent tenderness, let us build the evangelical peace that excludes no one.

Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.

Evangelization prayer intention: The Mission of Religious

Let us pray that consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.

Religious, with their prayer, poverty, and patience, are essential to the Church’s mission.

More than ever, with the challenges of today’s world, we need their complete dedication to proclaiming the Gospel.

Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary enthusiasm and let us pray that consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.

Universal prayer intention: Young People in Africa

Let us pray that young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries.

[…] Above all, it is the youth who need your witness: young men and women look to us. In Africa, the future is in the hands of the young, who need to be protected from new and unscrupulous forms of “colonization” such as the pursuit of success, riches, and power at all costs, as well as fundamentalism and the distorted use of religion, in addition to new ideologies which destroy the identity of individuals and of families. The most effective way to overcome the temptation to give in to harmful lifestyles is by investing in education. Education will also help to overcome a widespread mentality of injustice and violence, as well as ethnic divisions. The greatest need is for a model of education which teaches the young to think critically and encourages growth in moral values (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 64). An important component in this educational process is the pastoral care of students: in Catholic or public schools there is a need to unite academic studies with the explicit proclamation of the Gospel (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 132-134).

Universal prayer intention: The treasure of Families

Let us pray that any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.

On the occasion of the Festival of the Family scheduled in Riva del Garda on the theme “The Ecosystem Life and Work. Women’s Employment and Fertility, Prosperity and Economic Growth”, I would like to greet and express my appreciation to the organizers, the relators and to all the participants for their commitment to promoting the family. In these days, as citizens, as Christians, as families and associations of families, coming from different professions and backgrounds, you sharing your experiences, concerns and plans. I wish you a successful meeting!

The theme being addressed, which continues and concludes a series of reflections on other aspects that you have discussed in previous sessions, is very important. You aim to provide points for reflection and operational paths in order that the family may play an increasingly active role in the social, cultural and political contexts of the country. Indeed, you are well aware of the irreplaceable and fundamental position that the family holds, both in civil society and in the ecclesial community. The future of humanity passes through the family, and for this reason it necessary to allow it is to play its proper role. However, it does not suffice to re-emphasize the importance of the family and affirm its rights: it is necessary to consider in a practical way how the duties of the family and those of society can be articulated, especially with respect to the relationship between professional and family life.

Evangelization prayer intention: Priests and their Pastoral Ministry

Let us pray together that priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.

Paul, John the Baptist, and Maximilian Kolbe — along with many other shepherds throughout the ages — not only lived out solitude, abandonment, and persecution, but also the “nearness of the Lord”, especially in moments of trials. In his homily during Mass on Tuesday, 18 October in the chapel at the Casa, Pope Francis reflected on the invitation to rediscover the presence of God always, even in times of suffering and illness.

In his meditation, Francis centred on the passage in the day’s reading from the Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (cf. 4:10-17). “Paul is in Rome, imprisoned in a house, in a room, with some freedom, but waiting for he knows not what”, the Pope explained. “In that moment Paul feels alone”: it is “the solitude of the shepherd when there are difficulties, but also the solitude of the shepherd when approaching his end: stripped, alone, and a beggar”. And thus the Apostle writes to Timothy: “Get Mark and bring him with you; for he is very useful in serving me. When you come, bring the cloak, as well as the books” (2 Tim 4:11, 13). Therefore, Paul is “alone and a beggar: he begs Timothy for his few belongings since they might be of use to him”.

Universal prayer intention: Social Networks

That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

Today we are living in a world which is growing ever “smaller” and where, as a result, it would seem to be easier for all of us to be neighbours.  Developments in travel and communications technology are bringing us closer together and making us more connected, even as globalization makes us increasingly interdependent.  Nonetheless, divisions, which are sometimes quite deep, continue to exist within our human family.  On the global level we see a scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor.  Often we need only walk the streets of a city to see the contrast between people living on the street and the brilliant lights of the store windows.  We have become so accustomed to these things that they no longer unsettle us.  Our world suffers from many forms of exclusion, marginalization and poverty, to say nothing of conflicts born of a combination of economic, political, ideological, and, sadly, even religious motives.

Evangelization prayer intention: The Mission of the Laity

That the lay faithful may fulfil their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.

[…] Often we have given in to the temptation of thinking that committed lay people are those dedicated to the works of the Church and/or the matters of the parish or the diocese, and we have reflected little on how to accompany baptized people in their public and daily life; on how in their daily activities, with the responsibilities they have, they are committed as Christians in public life. Without realizing it, we have generated a lay elite, believing that committed lay people are only those who work in the matters “of priests”, and we have forgotten, overlooked, the believers who very often burn out their hope in the daily struggle to live the faith. These are the situations that clericalism fails to notice, because it is more concerned with dominating spaces than with generating initiatives. Therefore we must recognize that lay people — through their reality, through their identity, for they are immersed in the heart of social, public and political life, participate in cultural forms that are constantly generated — need new forms of organization and of celebration of the faith.

Universal prayer intention: For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters

That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.

Apart from the immediate and practical aspect of providing material relief to these brothers and sisters of ours, the international community is challenged to devise long-term political, social and economic responses to issues that transcend national and continental boundaries, and affect the entire human family.

The fight against poverty is not merely a technical economic problem, but above all a moral one, calling for global solidarity and the development of more equitable approaches to the concrete needs and aspirations of individuals and peoples worldwide. In the light of this demanding task, this initiative of your Foundation is most timely. Drawing inspiration from the rich patrimony of the Church’s social doctrine, the present Conference is exploring from various standpoints the practical and ethical implications of the present world economy, while at the same time laying the foundations for a business and economic culture that is more inclusive and respectful of human dignity.

Evangelization prayer intention: Formation in Spiritual Discernment

That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.

[…] Through prayer and discernment, the Pope said. “Jesus admonishes those who did not know how to discern the present moment,” citing as an example the parable of the fig tree (Mk 13:29-29), in which Jesus reproves those who are able to perceive the arrival of Spring in the blossoming of the fig tree and yet are unable to recognize the signs of the times.

Universal prayer intention: Say “No” to Corruption

That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.

“Dirty bread of corruption”

In his homily during Holy Mass in the Chapel of Santa Marta, Pope Francis commented on the parable of the dishonest steward taken from the Gospel of St Luke (16:1-8).

The Holy Father began: “The Lord speaks to us again about the spirit of the world, about worldliness: how this worldliness works and how perilous it is. In his prayer after the Last Supper on Holy Thursday, Jesus besought the Father not to allow his disciples to fall into worldliness”.

The Pope reaffirmed that “worldliness is the enemy”, and “the devil derives great pleasure” from seeing us live according to its ways. He pointed to the dishonest steward described in the Gospel as an example of worldliness. “Some of you might say: ‘But this man only did what everyone does!’. No, not everyone! Some company administrators, public administrators, government administrators … but perhaps not many. It’s an attitude of taking short cuts, of taking the easy road to earn a living”.