19th century – ceiling painting by the nuns in cloister at the Monastery of Light, São Paulo.
A Prayer for Religious Priests, Brothers and Sisters
Heavenly Father, in your wisdom you have called certain women and men to a life of special consecration so that in prayerful observance of a lifestyle of poverty, chaste celibacy and obedience, they might be witnesses to us that as St. Paul says, “our true citizenship is in heaven.” Give them, Lord, the grace of joy and perseverance in their holy vocation. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help for the Conversion of Sinners
Mother of Perpetual Help, you know so well the value of an immortal soul. For every soul has been redeemed by the Precious Blood of your Divine Son. Hear my prayer as I plead for the conversion of a sinner, one who is quickly heading for eternal ruin. I know that you are the refuge of sinners. I know also that God has given you the power to bring about the conversion of even the most hardened sinner. Until now, nothing has been successful in changing this person’s sinful way of life. Obtain from your Son the grace of conversion. Merciful Mother, you have brought about the conversion of many sinners through the prayers of their relatives and friends. Listen to my prayer and bring about a true conversion for this unhappy soul. Mother of Perpetual Help, show that you really are the Refuge of Sinners. Amen.
Almighty God, our Father, you who have given us life and intended us to have it forever, grant us your blessings. Enlighten our minds to an awareness and to a renewed conviction that all human life is sacred because it is created in your image and likeness. Help us to teach by word and the example of our lives that life occupies the first place, that human life is precious because it is the gift of God whose love is infinite. Give us the strength to defend human life against every influence or action that threatens or weakens it, as well as the strength to make every life more human in all its aspects.
Give us the grace…
When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, to stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life.
When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, to stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, a gift of God with a right to a loving and united family.
When the institution of marriage is abandoned to human selfishness or reduced to a temporary conditional arrangement that can easily be terminated, to stand up and affirm the indissolubility of the marriage bond.
When the value of the family is threatened because of social and economic pressure, to stand up and reaffirm that the family is necessary not only for the private good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state.
When freedom is used to dominate the weak, to squander natural resources and energy, to deny basic necessities to people, to stand up and affirm the demands of justice and social love.
Almighty Father, give us courage to proclaim the supreme dignity of all human life and to demand that society itself give its protection. We ask this in your name, through the redemptive act of your Son and in the Holy Spirit.
(Adapted from St. Pope John Paul II’s homily of October 7, 1979)