Welcome to the Athboy Parish Prayer Space
Prayer is an essential and life giving part of our faith. Spontaneous prayer together with traditional prayers are important in our lives. One can be enriched by the other and our faith can be helped to grow and develop by using both.
YEAR OF ST JOSEPH
In an Apostolic Letter entitled Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”), Pope Francis describes Saint Joseph as a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.
The Letter marks the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaration of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. To celebrate the anniversary, Pope Francis has proclaimed a special “Year of St Joseph,” beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception 2020 and extending to the same feast in 2021.
At the conclusion of his Letter, he added a prayer to St Joseph.
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
Friday March 19th is the feast of St Joseph.
The season of Lent starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday before Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. From then on until Easter Sunday, the Church celebrates the Easter Triduum of Christ’s passion and death, burial and resurrection.
Lent is characterised by three things – prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (acts of charity). These three bring us closer to God by helping us to detach from our selfishness and worldly distractions.
Lenten prayer can help us discern His will for us.
Our acts of charity can help make Christ more present in our lives as we show others His love.
Fasting from a particular food or activity can help us recognise in some small way His sacrifice for us.
The important thing is to keep God in our hearts and mind and allow God’s grace to bring about our interior conversion. Then Lent becomes a time for transformation as well as preparation.
Placing Our Trust in God
We must be careful not to practice a formal fast, or one which, in truth, “satisfies” us because it makes us feel good about ourselves. Fasting makes sense if it questions our security, and if it leads to some benefit for others, if it helps us to cultivate the style of the Good Samaritan, who bends down to his brother in need and takes care of him. Fasting involves choosing a sober lifestyle, a way of life that does not waste, a way of life that does not “throw away.” Fasting helps us to attune our hearts to the essential and to sharing. It is s sign of awareness and responsibility in the face of injustice, abuse, especially to the poor and the little ones, and it is a sign of the trust we place in God and in his Providence. Pope Francis – Homily March 5th 2014
POPE FRANCIS’ WORDS FOR LENT:
Do you want to fast this Lent?
Fast from hurting words & say kind words,
Fast from sadness & be filled with gratitude,
Fast from anger & be filled with patience,
Fast from pessimism & be filled with hope,
Fast from worries & trust in God,
Fast from complaints & contemplate simplicity,
Fast from bitterness & fill your heart with joy,
Fast from pressures & be prayerful,
Fast from bitterness & fill your heart with joy,
Fast from selfishness & be compassionate to others,
Fast from grudges & be reconciled, Fast from words & be silent so you can listen.
A LENTEN PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS:
forgive those things we have done which caused you sadness,
and those things we should have done
that would have brought you joy.
In both we have failed ourselves and you.
Bring us back this Lent to that place where our journey began
when we said that we would follow the way You first walked.
Lead us to the cross and meet us there,
Jesus our Lord, our life, our light, our love. Amen
A Lenten Prayer
During the sacred season of Lent, bring me close to you.
Prepare a place in my home and heart for silence and solitude,
so that I may re-discover the grace of a prayerful life.
Help me to fast from those things that threaten the wellbeing of my body
and soul and remind me of the grace of simplicity.
Enlarge my heart so that I give to those in need and
in doing so rediscover the grace of gratitude and generosity.
May this season be grace-filled time to rekindle my love and faith in you.
Lenten Prayer at the beginning of Lent
God of goodness and mercy,
Hear my prayer as I begin this Lenten journey with you.
Let me be honest with myself as I look into my heart and soul,
noticing the times I turn away from you.
Guide me as I humbly seek to repent and return to your love.
May humility guide my efforts to be reconciled with you
and live forever in your abundant grace.
Transform me this Lent, Heavenly Father.
Give me the strength to commit myself
to grow closer to you each day.
Lenten Prayer for Transformation
I invite you into my life today and make myself available to you.
Help me to become the best version of myself
by seeking your will and becoming a living example of your love in the world.
Open my heart to the areas of my life that need to change
in order for me to carry out the mission
and experience the joy you have imagined for my life.
Inspire me to live the Catholic faith
in ways that are dynamic and engaging.
Show me how to best get involved in the life of my parish.
Make our community hungry for the best practices
and continuous learning.
Give me courage when I am afraid,
hope when I am discouraged,
and clarity in times of decision.
LENTEN PRAYER FOR SUNDAYS DURING LENT
As I enter another week of my Lenten journey, guide me to the path that leads to you.
Fill my heart with gratitude, patience, strength, and peace.
As I renew my resolve each day to become a better person,
let me hear your voice in the deepest reaches of my heart.
Give me rest in you.
Help me to accept others, showing them your great love instead of casting judgement.
Stay with me through the busy days this week.
Remind me that when I need comfort, solitude, wisdom, or guidance I can turn to You.
Help me develop discipline and generosity through fasting and almsgiving,
and come closer to You through prayer this Lent. Amen.
This is an occasion for all of us – especially in families -to pray more intensely for each other and especially for those who have succumbed to the illness. We should pray also for those in the frontlines – especially doctors, nurses and medical staff and other carers, including clergy – that the Lord will protect them as they place their own wellbeing at risk in the service of all.
PRAYER FOR STRENGTH
Every day I need You, Lord
But today especially,
I need some extra strength to face whatever is to come.
This day, more than any other day,
I need to feel you near me
To strengthen my courage and to overcome my fear.
By myself I cannot meet the challenges of the hour.
We are frail human creatures
And we need a Higher Power to sustain us
In all that life may bring.
And so, dear Lord, hold my trembling hand.
Be with me, Lord this day and
Stretch out your powerful arm to help me.
May you love be upon me as I place all my hope in you. Amen.
Saint Pope John XXIII
PRAYER TO OUR LADY
Mary, Mother of Jesus and of all the human family, with great joy we call you Blessed.
Be close to us always.
May no day pass without a prayer to you in our hearts and on our lips.
May you be a mother to us throughout all the years of our lives, a mother ever ready to help us.
Stay with us, Mary, when there is peace at home, when joy and happiness make life easy. Stay with us, Mother, whenever we have sickness in the home, it is then we need you most. Should death come to any member of the family, old or young, then comfort us in our grief and wipe away our tears. And, Mary, when we close our eyes in death may we find you waiting to welcome us at the gates of Heaven. Amen
Extract from Saint Patrick’s Breastplate
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided.
Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer. Amen.
TO MARY FOR THE SICK
Mary, health of the sick,
be at the bedside of all the world’s sick people;
of those who are unconscious and dying;
of those who have begun their agony;
Of those who have abandoned all hope of a cure;
Of those who weep and cry out in pain;
Of those who cannot receive care because they are poor;
of those who need to be resting;
but who are forced to work;
for those who seek in vain for a less painful position in their beds;
for those who pass long nights sleepless;
of those who are tormented by the cares of a family in distress;
of those who must renounce their plans for the future;
of those, above all,
who do not believe in a better life;
of those who rebel and curse God;
of those who do not know that Christ suffered like them and for them.
PRAYER TO MARY DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC by Pope Francis
O Mary, you shine continuously along our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, health of the sick, who at the cross were near to the pain of Jesus, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman people, know what we need, and we trust that you will provide for those needs so that, as at Cana of Galilee, joy and celebration may return after this moment of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love, to conform ourselves to the will of the Father and to do what Jesus tells us, He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and took up our sorrows to bring us, through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen
We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God. do not despise our please – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
PRAYER IN TIME OF PANDEMIC
Lord Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.”
At your command the sick were made well again.
Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of this virus, that we may experience your healing love.
Lord, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and give us your peace.
In your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.
PRAYER TO ST. ROCH
(St Roch is patron saint of people suffering from infectious diseases)
O Blessed Saint Roch,
Patron of the sick,
Have pity on those
Who lie upon a bed of suffering.
Your power was so great
When you were in this world,
That by the sign of the Cross,
Many were healed of their diseases.
Now that you are in heaven,
Your power is not less.
Offer, then, to God
Our sighs and tears
And obtain for us that health we seek
Through Christ our Lord.
PRAYER DURING ILLNESS
Lord, at this time I have plenty of time to reflect and pray.
Grant me the strength to move my focus from my anxieties.
Deepen my sense of appreciation for all who are nursing me and those who support my family.
Bless those around me whose illness and anxiety is more serious than mine.
May they gain peace and strength from family, friends and nursing staff.
Lord Jesus, stay with me at this difficult time, I really need you now.