05/25 Easter 2020 Monday Motivation

Because we are unable to gather in person, we have decided to continue the Monday Motivation through the Easter Octave. We hope that you are enjoying these weekly motivations and find them valuable in your own personal faith journey.

For more information about our parish’s response to the Coronavirus and additional faith opportunities during this time, please visit olcparishrockford.com/coronavirus

Prayer for Memorial Day

God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons
      and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this though Jesus Christ our Lord.
R/. Amen 

 —from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers

Song Suggestion

This week’s song suggestion is “Be Born in Me” by Francesca Battistelli.

Take time to listen to this song. How is it speaking to you?

Click the image to learn more about each reflection area.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit
PIETY

The gift of Piety reverences almighty God and elevates religious practices with humility, trust, and love for His Majesty.  In Genesis, Abel sacrifices “the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions.” (Gen. 4:4) God accepts Abel’s sacrifices because he offers them with devotion.  But the Lord rejects Cain’s offering.  St. Augustine speculates that Cain gave God his offerings, but not entirely because his heart was divided. (City of GodXV.7).

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Corporal Works of Mercy
BURY THE DEAD

Funerals give us the opportunity to grieve and show others support during difficult times.  Through our prayers and actions during these times we show our respect for life, which is always a gift from God, and comfort to those who mourn.

  • Send a card to someone who has recently lost a loved one.  Make your own card and use some of these prayers. 
  • Visit the cemetery and pray for those you have lost. 
  • Spend time planning your own funeral mass, read through the Order of Christian Funerals and find our hope in the Resurrection.

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Spiritual Works of Mercy
PRAY FOR THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

Prayer is one of the most powerful ways we can support others.  Joining together in prayer for the living and the dead entrusts us all into God’s care.

  • Request a mass intention for a friend or family member who is going through a tough time 
  • Request a mass intention for a friend or family member who has passed away 
  • Keep your own book of prayer intentions, writing down the names of those who you are keeping in your prayers 
  • Ask a friend or family member if there is anything you can pray for them about 
  • Through prayer, entrust your cares and concerns for those around you to God

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Imperfect Offering

Readings:
Acts 12:24-13:5a; John 12:44-50

Scripture:
“I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.” (John 12:46)

Reflection:
At this time of year, we are blessed with an abundance of light. The days feel like they are longer as we march toward summer, and sunset seems to wait until the last possible minute. The sun forces new life up from the earth; the stars glimmer in the clear night sky as we sit by the flickering light of a campfire.  It’s like a symphony of light that buoys our spirits and allows us to shake off the doldrums that took hold over the long winter months. Light has a way of changing everything, and it manages to find its way in any way it can – through clouds and cracks, between leaves and sometimes even between raindrops. Light always finds a way.

Jesus reminds us today that he is that light, coming into the world to pull us out of the darkness we tend toward when left to our own devices and to shine his hope and mercy in the recesses where we keep the things that tie us down to fear and despair and anger and jealousy. Jesus doesn’t just shine a light; he is the light.  Like the sun that rises and sets on our days, Jesus is the light around which we revolve.  If we are lucky and if we follow where his light leads, we may get the chance to reflect that light onto the darkness we find in the world, like the moon that illuminates a night sky through no power of its own.

Meditation:

In the well-known Leonard Cohen song “Anthem,” he sings, “Ring them bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Think about the way a kaleidoscope works, with the light hitting the broken shards of colored glass as they spin in a tube. Taken as single slivers, they might not be that spectacular, but together with the light filtering through they become a work of art, a joy to behold. Look at the kaleidoscope that is your life right now. If you turn toward the Light and let it filter through all your sharp edges and broken parts, you will see the work of art the you, too, are.

Prayer:

Light of the World, illuminate the darkest corners of our hearts so that we may be reflections of your love and help to light the way for others.


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