Prayer for Laetara Sunday March 22

The UISG (International Union of Superiors General) has designated Sunday, March 22 as a Day of Worldwide Solidarity and Prayer for those impacted by the pandemic. We are invited to join in this plea for an end to suffering and death from this pandemic. Please let us join one another in our SCN Prayer which is attached as we pray in solidarity with our Sisters across the world in this day of prayer.

Opening Song: I Am With You On the Journey

I am with you on the journey and I will never leave you.

I am with you on the journey, always with you. (Kathy Sherman)

Laetare Sunday is a day of hope and light as we travel through a season of darkness. As we stand in solidarity with our suffering world at this time of crisis due to the Covid 19, Coronavirus, we are reminded that in times of such darkness God is with us, God is our light when other lights seem to be dimming. Christ told us in John 8:12 “ I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

In our SCN Congregation during days of darkness we are reminded of our own Mother Catherine Spalding who suffered with the people of her time during the cholera epidemic. She reflected for others the light of Christ as she walked the streets of Louisville, caring for the sick on the wharf and comforting the orphans. We, her followers in the United States, India, Belize, Nepal and Botswana, are called to be the Christ-light for others. We are called to hold in prayer our suffering people across the world. We are called to do what we can to help alleviate the suffering of others,. We may be called to stay home knowing that our sacrifice is for the health of others. We may be called to respond in other ways across our congregation. May we be attentive to the call of the poor.

Scripture 1 John: 1: 5–7 (adapted)

God is Light. Now this is the message that we have heard and proclaim now; God is light and in God there is no darkness at all….If we walk in the light as God is in the light, then we have community with one another.”

Quiet Reflection

Litany taken from statements of the SCN Constitutions

27 Like Jesus Christ, we live in solidarity with the oppressed, valuing and being valued as persons rather than as possessors, refusing to be enslaved by fear of loss or desire of gain, reverently caring for the talents and resources entrusted to us and sharing unselfishly with others.

Response: Lead us in your light O God

34 We express our solidarity with the oppressed by increasing our awareness of oppression and our part in it, by maintaining simplicity in our personal and communal life style, by accepting powerlessness in the gospel sense and by working toward needed change in social structures.

Response: Lead us in your light O God.

5 Charity leads us to share the burdens of the needy, identifying with them in the struggle to overcome obstacles to growth.

Response: Lead us in your light O God.

8 Awaiting in hope of God’s manifestation, we offer our praise and thanksgiving.

Response: Lead us in your light O God.

Quiet Reflection

Prayer of the Faithful:

As everything around us speaks of fear and loss, Laetare Sunday ironically calls us to rejoice, even says it twice, in case we don’t hear it the first time. Christ, our light hear our prayers:

That we will walk safely in the light that Our God shines upon us.

Response: Christ be our light

That medical needs be made available to the most vulnerable among us.

Response: Christ be our light

That medical laboratories be equipped with means to test for COVID-19

 Response: Christ be our light

That each of us be diligent in the ways that we can do our part by using good hygiene, keeping our social distance when near another person and good cleaning habits where we live and work. 

Response: Christ be our light

That those who care for the sick be protected and provide kind and loving care for those who face the realities of this disease. 

Response: Christ be our light

That other needs of our world be included in our efforts to address homelessness, unemployment, hunger and the plight of refugees. 

 Response: Christ be our light

That in our efforts throughout the world during this pandemic encourage a world community that reaches out to one another. 

Response: Christ be our light

Rejoice in this moment of world community depending on one another and continue to be confident that Our God is with us. Amen

Please take a few moments and share with us your prayers and responses.

Post your response in the comments at the bottom of this page.

Closing Prayer: Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighborhood
so that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way.
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality,

To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square, Sing.

Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM

Closing Song: “Christ Be Our Light” Bernadette Farrell

Longing for light, we wait in darkness
Longing for truth, we turn to You.
Make us Your own, Your holy people
Light for the world to see.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in Your church gathered today.

Longing for peace, our world is troubled
Longing for hope, many despair.
Your word alone has pow’r to save us.
Make us your living voice.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in Your church gathered today.

Longing for food, many are hungry
Longing for water, many still thirst.
Make us Your bread, broken for others
Shared until all are fed.

Christ, be our light!
Shine in our hearts.
Shine through the darkness.
Christ, be our light!
Shine in …

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