Prayer Reflections

Prayer Reflections

Each month we will post a reflection from a member of the NACAR Board or from the membership at large.

We at NACAR ask you to pray for the victims of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma and to contiue to pray for those who may still be in the path of Irma.

We hold in our prayers the religious and associates of NACAR members the Congregation of the Divine Providence and the Sisters of the Incarnate Word in Texas and for the people with whom they work.

Let us also continue to pray that world leaders may recognize how climate change is affecting the lives of the poor and the rich alike, but that such a great burden falls on vulnerable populations. Scientists have warned of extreme weather conditions accompanying global warming. May we all heed these warning and work toward protecting our home, the earth.

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Red PoppyIn our northern climate, the month of November vividly reminds me of the letting go, the resting, the dying, that is the beginning of new life and resurrection. It is the month of all saints and of all souls – a reminder of our connection to the full communion of saints – and, in a more somber way, a month in which we remember those who gave their lives in the struggle for freedom and justice. 100 years after the beginning of "the great war to end all wars" we are still struggling to live in peace and to share the wealth of the earth justly.

As I write, the tragedy of this past week fills my mind and turns me towards God for solace and direction. A young soldier, who two days ago stood tall, focused on honouring his country and his compatriots by guarding the grave of the unknown soldier at our National War Memorial, was cut down violently. Tonight he has been carried home along the Highway of Heroes, to his home city of Hamilton while thousands mourned his passing. Another young man, one from a troubled past with a troubled mind, stirred to hatred and seeking to destroy, took his brother's life and further, rampaged in violence against all that stood for authority and order.

In death, the first was surrounded immediately by bystanders ministering to his wounds and attempting to comfort him in the dying moments of his life. The second was brought down in violence by the violence he precipitated. Two sons of a nation, two choices ... two paths chosen. It is so easy to praise the one and condemn the other.

I struggle with the mystery of their life and death and with how You, my God, see all this. You reveal yourself as mercy and forgiveness. Can I step aside from judgment and pray for your grace to be there for both? Even more, can I be a channel of your mercy, seeking to reach those struggling with life and its meaning? Can I help Love overcome hate, and sow the seeds of peace? Be with us Lord!

Sr. Nancy Hurren is a CND Sister from Western Canada.

In Canada the 'Poppy flower' is the symbol/logo for Canada's Remembrance Day, which is Veterans Day in the US, both celebrated on Nov. 11th.

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Year of Faith logo (Cross in a Boat)When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Push out into the deep…" Pope Benedict XVI has issued a similar call to the world Church by proclaiming a Year of Faith. From October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013, Catholics are urged to push to the depth within their personal baptismal call to holiness and to be blessed and surprised by what God—Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier—has to offer. In the year ahead let's rediscover what we truly believe and foster the New Evangelization.

In New Testament times the weary apostles walked many roads to bring the Good News. We read in Acts 27 and 28 how Paul was shipwrecked in his effort to proclaim what he believed. Today we have the information super-highway as a modern means to spread the Gospel. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and other social media afford us the opportunity to share our faith without blistered feet, life jackets or microphones.

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coffee cupsI arrived at the quaint coffee shop earlier than anticipated! (Pre-supposing I might get caught up in re-routed traffic because of on-going, New Orleans road work, Saenger Theater re-construction or even the filming of a movie, I left Holy Angels an hour prior to the planned meeting time.) Within a mere 20 minutes I was seated at a table breathing in the welcoming aroma of coffee and the mouth-watering allure of cranberry scones.

This was not to be an "eating meeting" but since I was ahead of time I made my way to the counter. Generally, I am not a coffee-house "goer" … but I became a part of a defined ritual of eating and drinking. Back at the table where I had left the agenda folder, I read the Scripture for the next day, Corpus Christi - June 2, 2013. Immediately I was struck by the references to food and drink—bread and wine—body and blood. The actions: take, bless, broken and shared came across loud and clear in 1 Corinthians 11. The Communion Antiphon was the consoling, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him …" as in John 6:57

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Isaac! I'm not referring to Abraham's son, but the potential hurricane heading our way as I draft this reflection. Indeed the fact that he is scheduled to arrive—to the day—on the anniversary of that sassy Katrina, stirs up a tornado of memories within me—and most of the People of God who live on the Gulf Coast.

PietaThe pounding of a hammer brings me to the window in my office. I can see our neighbor putting ply board to protect the glass panes in his home. Radio and TV news and Accuweather reports are eye-catching with colorful radar pictures of projected direction, rain, wind gusts, etc. Possible mandatory evacuation orders will be given by city officials… and I sit here pondering and remembering, with sincere gratitude, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "Your own soul a sword shall pierce." Luke 2:33-35

So many blessings followed the destruction of our coastal cities: southern citizens pulled together in near-by, land-locked cities, people came from all parts of the U.S. and all walks of life to lend their hearts and hands to the recovery efforts. Locally individuals recognized personal strengths within themselves that may have been lying dormant. The Amazing Grace List goes on and on offering life-long lessons. In The Prophet, Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese Poet, wrote that the deeper sorrow hollows us out, the more joy we can contain.

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