Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pope Benedict's Prayer Intentions for October

From Catholic News Agency, tough, new prayer intentions from Pope Benedict.

October prayer intentions, Pope seeks strength for Christians in hostile society, building up of world missionaries

Vatican City, Sep. 30, 2005 (CNA) - This morning, the Vatican announced Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for the upcoming month of October. In them, the Holy Father focuses his attention on asking God to strengthen Christians in the face of an increasingly hostile secular society.

The Pope's general prayer intention for the month is, "That Christians may not be discouraged by the attacks of secularized society, but with complete trust, may bear witness to their faith and hope."

Likewise, his mission intention is, "That the faithful may join to their fundamental duty of prayer the support also of economic contributions to the missionary works."

"Tough prayer intentions" is not a phrase I've ever thought of writing before. The standard prayer intentions in the Mass, and particularly in the Liturgy of the Hours, seem to me, to be weak, or soft.

You don't see prayer intentions for the "Conversion of China", "Return of Schismatics", or "Repentance of Sinners", instead they tend to be vague and subjective. I've been told that prayers should be specific; indeed, prayer needs to conform us to God's Will, so objectivity is needed.

Certain members of the Church seem to be quite open to the movements of the Holy Spirit, and are willing to dialogue with God on many subjects that I had thought have been settled already. But I don't think that I have those graces, and instead, look to the concrete teachings of the Church as a rule to conform myself to Christ. Good, specific prayer intentions can help.

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