Thursday, May 15, 2008

Let's Pray for China

This one is from the Rector Major:

I should like to invite each SDB, FMA community, those of the other congregations and institutes belonging to the Salesian Family and every Centre of the Salesians-Cooperators or Past Pupils to make the novena in the way they consider the most appropriate, adding each day a different prayer intention for the Church in China.

15 May: for the Bishops of China

May they be shining signs of communion and unity, zealous pastors and animators of the church community and untiring promoters of the work of evangelisation among non-believers.

16 May: for Priests

May they be guides of the people of God through the example of an evangelical life and the witness of their attachment to the Apostolic See.

17 May: for Religious women

May they be witnesses to the values of consecrated life, to the Kingdom already present among the people of God, and ardent flames of charity, contemplatives in action.

18 May: for Seminarians and for Vocations

May they be faithful to the call of the Divine Master, ready to serve the world without being of the world.

19 May: for the “official”’ Catholic Communities

May they know how to carry out the mission entrusted to them “giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” but without compromising what belongs to God and to his Church.

20 May: for the “underground” Catholic Communities

May they be aware of the significance of the decision to be underground, without ever closing themselves off from the official communities, but seeking to be the promoters of reconciliation and unity, in charity and in the truth.

21 May: for the Chinese Government

May it be ever more open to the values and respect for human rights; not be afraid of Christ and commit itself to building harmony e permitting everyone to live and practise their faith in peace.

22 May: for the Catholic Faithful

May they be aware that they can be good citizens striving to be true Christians; may they commit themselves more and more to spreading moral values and the gospel among their many fellow citizens who do not yet know Christ.

23 May: for young people

May they not allow themselves captivated by materialism, by consumerism, by individualism; may they strive to live according to ideals that can build a society that is more just and respectful towards all values including religious ones.

24 May: it would be good to recite the prayer for China that Pope Benedict XVI may write or the “Prayer to Mary Help of Christians for China” :

Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title 'Help of Christians', the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a mother's care, guide them along the paths of truth and love so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious co-existence among all citizens.

When you obediently said 'yes' in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God's eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously co-operated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live.

From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross. Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter. Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of God's loving presence.

Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus. In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love. Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us now and forever. Amen!