“INTERCESSORS FOR PRIESTS” PRAYER GROUP
The Priesthood is the heart of the love of Christ.” –St. John Vianney (the Curé of Ars)
The prayer group, Prayer Intercessors for Priests (also known as the “Prayer Warriors”) is an intercessory prayer ministry which prays for priests–especially our Carmelite Friars–and all souls entrusted to them. They also pray for Our Holy Father, and for all Bishops. Of course, prayers are also said for the needs of our own Church community, and the ministries and families of St. Therese Parish.
The group was formed as a result of the declaration of Pope Benedict XVI that the year beginning on June 19, 2009, would be THE YEAR OF THE PRIEST. The year was dedicated to prayer for the sanctification and renewal of the clergy. Using the words and witness of the saintly Curé of Ars, St. John Mary Vianney, as a backdrop for his letter to his beloved priests, Pope Benedict broke open the depth and beauty of the priestly vocation. He also invited all of the faithful to fully participate in praying for priests.
The Prayer Intercessors for Priests meet in the Guadalupe Courtyard every Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. (preceding the 7:00 p.m. Mass). You are very welcome to join! The only requirement is a loving heart. For more information, you may contact the coordinator, Blanca Ruvalcaba, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ST. THÉRÉSE ON PRAYING FOR PRIESTS:
Thérèse spent a month on pilgrimage before visiting Rome to see the Holy Father. Also on the pilgrimage were many priests, who unfortunately taught her that priests can be weak and feeble men deeply in need of prayer. She wrote later: “I met many saintly priests that month, but I also found that in spite of being above angels by their supreme dignity, they were nonetheless men and still subject to human weakness. If the holy priests, ‘the salt of the earth,’ as Jesus calls them in the Gospel, have to be prayed for, what about the lukewarm? Again, as Jesus says, ‘If the salt shall lose its flavor, with what shall it be salted?’ I understood my vocation in Italy.”
At fourteen, Thérèse had understood her vocation to pray for priests to be “an apostle to apostles.” In September 1890, at her canonical examination before she professed her religious vows, she was asked why she had come to Carmel. She answered “I came to save souls, and especially to pray for priests.” Throughout her life she prayed fervently for priests, and she corresponded with and prayed for a young priest, Adolphe Roulland, and a young seminarian, Maurice Bellière. She wrote to her sister, “Our mission as Carmelites is to form evangelical workers who will save thousands of souls, whose mothers we shall be.”
PRAYERS / MEDITATIONS
M O T H E R O F G O D: Mary is Mother of the Church, Mother of the Apostles, Mother of the Redeemer (of OUR Redeemer), Mother of the Clergy and of every consecrated soul. Mother and Queen of Heaven and Earth—yet she is more Mother than queen; because she is also a refuge of sinners and our Advocate, our Intercessor before the Throne of God, before the Most Precious and Holy Heart of her Son Jesus. Let us come to her, trusting in her motherly love, to grant us what we need most: a clean and pure heart, so she can bring the Most Holy and Beloved Son to abide in us, to be born in our hearts. May it be so for the Glory of God and for the salvation of our souls “Asi sea.” Amen.
I HAVE A DREAM that you and I will sing in praise and adoration and will also intercede for our priests and for our needs as One Body and One Heart, without regard to size, shape, color or cultural background. All that is needed is your desire to intercede from the heart. Then, with one heart and one voice, we will elevate our offering of love to God for one and all. Let us make this dream a glorious reality!
ONE LORD, ONE GOD OF ALL, is our Triune God: Listen to Him, follow Him. Do as He tells you. He and only He has the words of eternal life. Never do your own will!; God has the “owner’s manual”! He created you and knows you better than you know yourself. HE LOVES YOU more than you love yourself. So, in doing His will and not your own, you will be loving yourself and following the path to eternal life with God, our Father, our Creator, and the One Lord of all.
“HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, Virgin Immaculate, you appeared eighteen times to Bernadette at the grotto in Lourdes to remind Christians of what the truths in the Gospel require of them. You call them to prayer, penance, the Eucharist, and the life of the Church. To answer your call more fully, I dedicate myself, through you, to your Son Jesus. By the fervor of my faith, by the conduct of my life in all its aspects, by my devotion to praying for your priests, let me work with you in the reconciliation of people, that the Church may be one and that there may be peace in the world. All this I ask, confident that you, Our Lady, will fully answer my prayer. Blessed be the Holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us. St. Bernadette, pray for us.”
“HAIL, FAVORED ONE, the Lord is with you! Hail Mary, Ave Maria, the “Full of Grace,” the Blessed of Blesseds, the Mother of God, and OUR MOTHER, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Queen and Mother of the clergy, the Queen and Mother of us ALL. ~ My dear brothers and sisters: Listen to her and let us DO AS HE TELLS us; so you and I, as well, can each be called “the favored one with the Lord.”
“HEAVENLY FATHER, may the torrents of love flowing from the sacred wounds of Thy Divine Son bring forth priests like unto the beloved disciple John who stood at the foot of the Cross; priests who, as a pledge of Thine own most tender love, will lovingly give Thy Divine Son to the souls of men. May Thy priests be faithful guardians of Thy Church, as John was of Mary, whom he received into his house. Give us priests who are on fire, and who are true children of Mary, priests who will give Jesus to souls with the same tenderness and care with which Mary carried the Little Child of Bethlehem. Mother of sorrows and of love, out of compassion for Thy beloved Son, open in our hearts deep wells of love, so that we may console Him and give Him a generation of priests formed in thy school and having all the tender thoughtfulness of thine own spotless love.’”
“WE LOVE OUR ENEMIES, and we pray for those who persecute us.” —Archbishop José H. Gomez ~ This is what we are called to emulate from a real priest, a real Archbishop, a real leader, a real spiritual Father, Alter Christus. Let us pray for our Archbishop, and for all our beloved priests who are the channels of the grace of God, the only path that can make this possible for you and for me.
“NO! NO! DON’T KILL ME–not because I don’t want to die, but because I don’t want you to die!” ~ This is the message that St. Maria Goretti (1890-1902) wanted her killer to understand. However, he was blinded by the evil one and could not see that in killing her body, he was killing his very own self. He did stab her to death. Yet this precious soul would not give up in trying to convert him. What she couldn’t do during her earthly life, she did from heaven! Through her intercession, let us pray for our beloved priests, that they may be instruments of conversion for hardened souls.
“TEACH US TO PRAY,” the disciples said to Jesus. (Luke 11:1). He answered by teaching them the prayer we call the Our Father or The Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer is a basic Christian prayer learned by every Christian. It appears everywhere in the Church’s life: in its liturgy and sacraments, in public and private prayer. Through this prayer, Jesus invites us to approach God as Father. Indeed, the Lord’s Prayer has been called a Summary of the Gospel. When we pray His prayer, His spirit becomes our own.
LISTEN TO HIM who has the words of eternal life. Listen to Him who is the Way. Listen to Him who has the Truth—who IS the Truth. Listen to Him who gave you Life and who wants you to live it abundantly. To live it here, but also, more importantly, IN ETERNITY! Pray or become prey! Pray to do His will and not your will—and receive the guarantee of a lifetime—for then you will have life here AND in ETERNITY with Him forever and ever without end!
MARY, THE GATE OF HEAVEN, …was lifted up to reside next to the King of Glory, who first ascended and prepared a place for her, His Blessed Mother. Exalted above all the heavens, she is the most glorious and radiant splendor of all the celestial court. May her holy and maternal intercession prepare for us a place next to the Eternal High Priest, along with all her children, her most beloved and cherished priests.
QUEEN OF HEAVEN, The Son whom you were privileged to bear has risen as He said. Alleluia! Pray to God for us! Rejoice and be glad, Virgin Mary, for the Lord has truly risen, Alleluia.