Pope Francis Missionary Intention for January
"That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal." Let us pray.
While there are fewer religious sisters, brothers, and priests today than there were 50 years ago, they continue to play an important role in the life of the Church. According to St. John Paul, "… the consecrated life is at the very heart" of the mission of the Church. Consecrated persons make visible to the world "…. the characteristic features of Jesus-the chaste, poor, and obedient one." They show the world that every person is called to an intimate relationship with God.
Pope Francis General Intention for January
"That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace." Let us pray.
It has been said that the first casualty in war is the truth. It is also well known that wars are often caused by a lack of truth.
Jesus declared "I am the truth" (John 14: 6) and told Pontius Pilate "For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth" (John 18: 37). Because he is the Son of God, Jesus is the truth about who God is, and, because he is fully human, he is the truth about the human person.
What is that truth? Firstly, that God is Love, love that is willing to give all, even life itself, for the good of the person loved. Secondly, that the human person is precious to God, precious enough to die for.
When this truth is denied, the human person becomes subhuman, an object, and often a threat. It then becomes easy to destroy this threat when the human factor is taken out of the equation. The human person is no longer seen as an individual for whom Jesus suffered and died.
We begin this month with the annual World Day of Peace. The theme Pope Francis has chosen for this day is "Slaves No More, But Brothers and Sisters." That theme confronts one of the root causes of war-seeing others as objects to be enslaved, bought, and sold.
So we pray that all people of good will from all the world's religious traditions may know and hold fast to the truth of the human person and work together for peace.
Prayer Intention of the Institute for January
"That in South Sudan and in the Central African Republic their peoples may be reconciled with each other and return to a life blessed by peace. Lord hear us."
Pope Francis - unafraid to speak out
In 2015 Pope Francis will seek to overtly influence the UN sponsored meeting in Paris to discuss climate change and thus to encourage it to adopt an unequivocal and universal commitment to reduce emissions.
In September the Holy Father aims to convene a meeting with the leaders of all the world's leading religions to foster awareness - if it were needed - of the present situation regarding the world's climate and its negative impact on the poor and needy. He is also due to release an encyclical which will focus on climate change and urge all the faithful to action on grounds both ethical and scientific. Pope Francis has consistently championed a financial and economic system that recognises human equality and our stewardship of creation.
Prayer of the Month
Father, we thank you for calling men and women to serve in your Son's Kingdom as sisters, brothers, religious priests, hermits, as well as members of Secular Institutes. Renew their knowledge and love of you, and send your Holy Spirit to help them respond generously and courageously to your will.
--from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops