Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Prayers for Strength for Pope Francis

Tuesday greetings from Chicago. I spent Thursday and Friday in southern California, delivering an RCIA workshop at Saint Pius V parish in Buena Park. I went to Mass for the Assumption there. Engaging music and a wonderful homily lifted my heart.

On Sunday, I completed the "Wright Ride," a fifty-mile bike ride, the longest of the season by far. My knees were begging for mercy, but it was fun and exhilarating!

The annual J.S. Paluch Vocations Seminar is taking place this week. Last night we were privileged to watch Salt and Light Television's production of The Francis Effect. You can watch a trailer. It was moving. I would suggest that all Catholics find a way to watch it.

And then this morningat the vocations seminar, right before Mass, celebrated by Salt and Light's Fr. Thomas Rosica, we heard the tragic news of the deaths of Pope Francis' two grand nephews and their mother in a horrible car accident in Argentina. I prayed so hard for the pope and for his nephew, who was critically injured in the crash. When tragedy befalls someone who preaches the cross and resurrection of Christ every single day, I wonder how his heart and faith is challenged by such a tragedy. I am reminded of the words from one of the old prefaces for funeral Masses, where the phrase, "the doubt that comes from grief" is mentioned. I felt this so strongly when my youngest sister died in 2001. I pray that the pope's faith will be strengthened, even in times of doubt.

May eternal rest come upon the pope's grand nephews Jose Bergoglio, 8 months old, Antonio Bergoglio, 2 years old, and their mother, Valeria Carmona, 36 years old.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Alan Hommerding said...

When I heard this announced before Mass this morning, it reminded me that it is our responsibility each and every day to pray for ALL those who have died, and those who mourn their loss. Along with Pope Francis, I pray for all those who are suffering times of terrible pain, grief, and loss.
I'm also praying for the grace to be more observant in my daily prayers for those who are suffering illness - whether of spirit, mind, or body - as well as those who are near death.

Denise Morency Gannon said...

Well said Alan. We see this kind of trauma all the time in emergency medicine. Each event is new each time, raw and deep and never easy to accept, even to the health care staff who have people's lives in their hands and watch the light go out as they do their best to save, spare and serve. Jerry, I lost my brother at 23 in a fatal car accident and really know from the bottom up how sudden death changes life in a minute for people who survive. Deo gratias for faith and community. And believe me when I say that there are so many without either in their darkest hours. Alan's right: keeping the sick, the dying and the suffering on our front burner of prayer and action awareness can never be emphasized enough in personal and communal prayer. As always, the light of Christ will shine through the night of this dark hour of Pope Francis. Thanks for the post and the comment.