Parish of Banagher, Derry Diocese, Ireland. home
Parish News
We Pray For...
Parish Groups
Pilgrimages & Retreats
Prayers & Readings
Past News
Get In Touch
Wedding Readings...
Getting Married
• Wedding Readings - Old Testament
• Wedding Readings - New
• Wedding Readings - Gospel
 
 
Special Prayers...
Assorted Prayers
• The Angelus
• The Rosary
• Stations of the Cross
 
Additional Information...
Past newsletters
• Praying with Children
• 10 Golden Rules for Prayer
• Promises of the Sacred Heart
 
Assorted Prayers
 
 

ADVENT PEACE PSALM
O Prince of Peace,
whose advent we seek in our lives,
come this day and show us
how to beat our swords into ploughshares,
tools of life instead of instruments of fear.
May your love strip us
of all weapons and strategies of conquest
which are not the tools of lovers,
wise ones and God's children.
Let us not lust for power
but rather strive for the insight
to be guided on the Way of Peace.
Let us not yearn for a victory
that requires a sister's sorrow
or a brother's shameful defeat.
Let us be Advent adventurers and peacemakers,
hammering swords into shovels,
filling holes and levelling peaks.
Let us be disarmed and vulnerable,
for only through such open hands and hearts
can Emmanuel come.


A CHRISTMAS PSALM

O Blessed One,
it is said that Christmas is for children.
Indeed, I agree:
it's only a feast for the young of heart,
a feast for finding beneath tree
gifts to surprise and delight the eternal child.
Peel back the scabs of cynicism from my eyes
so that this calloused and ageing child,
may see holiness blazing at the tip of every branch,
may see every tree as a Christmas tree.
Let me not be ashamed to dance with delight
at hidden gifts wrapped in shimmering paper
with bows of rainbow coloured ribbon.
But also grant me the youthful and wide-eyed wonder
to recognise, and even to expect,
life-giving miracles on every street corner,
miracles of kindness and generosity and care.
Gift my all-too-calculating heart
with the excitement of anticipation
to truly receive the gifts of life,
the capacity to feast and rejoice.
Give birth within me to a to a spaciousness of heart that can celebrate this feast
of the birth of Christ, the Child,
as a child.


AND THEY SHALL NAME HIM EMMANUEL
God of all ages,
maker of time,
mark of the alpha and
point to the omega,
Creator, sustainer of everything living,
touching us all who hold a hope
with a vision that breaks through boundaries
to grasp the blurred horizon.
You gave your promise,
a blessing of joy
to those who've not lost their faith in you.
Now time is poised with renewed expectation
of Emmanuel, God with us.
To know our time
of proclaimed favour
we make again the pledge you ask:
'Share justly the good things I give you.
Reconcile with peace the rule of abuse.
Give courage to those who voice the words
of lives that have been silenced.'
Send us to carry your good news
to those burdened with debt.
Transform their chains into clasps of love,
of prayer, concern and then action.
Aware of your Spirit always among us
we sustain your purpose with passions.
Increase our endeavour to do what you ask,
of 'Where there are wrongs, they be righted.'
Now is the time.
It will be achieved.
In acting justly,
in loving tenderly,
and in walking closely
with you, our God.

Family Prayer for Christmas

Today the fifth candle is lit on the Advent wreath. It is a sure sign that we have arrived at Christmas Day. The other signs of this are the presents that many of us will open with excitement and with the question: What did you get for Christmas? The answer will almost entirely be about the presents rather than about the candle that symbolises the wonderful gift that Christ is to us from God. This week, as we rejoice in the presents and are filled with gratitude to those who gave them to us, whether Santa or someone else, we should spend some time together in gratitude to God for his gifts of Christ and of one another.

Fr. Johnny Doherty, C.Ss.R

New School Year

Lord God
Your spirit of wisdom fills our lives and teaches us your ways.

Look upon our young people.
May they enjoy their learning and take delight in new
discoveries. Help them to persevere in their studies
and give them the desire to learn all things well.

Look upon our teachers.
May they strive to share their knowledge with gentle
patience and endeavour always to bring the truth to eager minds.

Grant that students and teachers alike may follow Jesus
Christ, the way, the truth and the life, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 

 

Prayer for Vocations

Dear Lord, the fields are white with the harvest and the labourers are very few. We beseech you to inspire young men and women with a desire to work for you, courage to deny themselves for you, and a love that will lead them to leave home for your name’s sake.

Prayer of Serenity

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

 

ASSORTED PRAYERS

PARENTS
When asked about Jesus' injunction to
his disciples to hate their parents,
the Master said, ''You will rarely
find a greater enemy than a parent.''
And he told how he once met a woman
at the supermarket pushing a pram
with two little boys in it.
"What cute little kids you have,"
said the Master. ''How old are they?
''The doctor ,'' said the lady, ''is three
and the lawyer is two.''


FOR THE BREAK-UP OF A RELATIONSHIP
Now you endeavour
To gather yourself
And withdraw in slow
Animal-woundedness
From love turned sour and ungentle.

When we love, the depth in us
Thrusts itself forward until
The empty space between
Becomes gradually woven
Into an embrace where longing
Can close its weary eyes.

Love can seldom end clean;
For all the tissue is torn
And each lover turned stranger
Is dropped into a ruin of distance
Where emptiness is young and fierce.

Time becomes strange and slipshod;
It mixes memories that felt
The kiss of the eternal
With the blistering hurt of now.

Unknown to themselves,
Certain small things
Touch nerve-lines to the heart
And bring back with colour and force
All that is utterly lost.

This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let,
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
Lord,by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of our faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us choose what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

 

Prayer for Palm Sunday.

LORD and Father of mankind, we thank Thee for the remembrance of Palm Sunday, with all its glad rejoicing; and we realise that though the troubles of life are many, again and again the sunshine of Thy Love is shown to encourage and cheer us on our upward way. Grant that when the brightness of earthly life seems overshadowed, we may never forget that Divine Power is being built up, so that we may take the next stage of experience with unfaltering steps. Help us to meet the sorrows of tomorrow with a valiant heart, knowing that if the day-time of life is followed by the shadows of night, the dawn will surely come, revealing that one more lesson has been learnt. And because experience has been made our own, we know that with faith we can offer guidance and help to others who are passing through the night-time of physical life. Help us, O Christ, to show something of Thy patience and endurance. Amen

Easter Prayer.

"The angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake...And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen." St. Matt. 28: 2-6.

Prayer For Those Who Are Sick

O, God our Father,
bless and help me in the illness which has come upon me.
Give me courage and patience,
endurance and cheerfulness to bear all weakness and pain;
and give me a mind at rest,
which will make my recovery all the quicker.
Lord Jesus, come to me this day and at this time,
and show me your healing touch. Amen.

Prayer for Trust in Jesus

O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.

Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose,
Your will through all things. Amen


Prayer of Solace

May Christ support us all the day long,
till the shadows lengthen
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over
and our work is done.
Then in his mercy
may he give us a safe lodging,
and holy rest and peace at the last.
Amen.

Your Daily Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you came among us
Through Mary's 'yes' to God Help me this day
To say 'yes' to the Father's call to me,
so that in my words and actions,
in times of work and leisure,
you can be present in me
through the power of the Eucharist to heal,
to comfort and to sustain.

THE NEW YEAR

Ever Faithful God in this new year I pray:

to live deeply with purpose,
to live freely, with detachment,
to live wisely, with humility,
to live justly with compassion,
to live lovingly with fidelity,
to live mindfully with awareness,
to live gratefully with generosity,
to live fully, with enthusiasm.

Help me to hold this vision
and to daily renew it in my heart,
becoming ever more one with you,
my truest Self.

I ARISE IN THE NEW YEAR

I arise with amazement at the presence of the Holy One.
I arise with gratitude for life.
I arise with hope that all shall be well.
I arise with courage to meet what will be difficult.
I arise with conviction to do what is life-giving.
I arise with eyes ever alert for beauty.
I arise with openness to greater truth.
I arise with desire for continued transformation.
I arise with compassion for the hurting ones in the cosmos.
I arise with grief still settled in my spirit.
I arise with a sense of kinship with all whom I love.
I arise with determination to make good choices in using my time.
I arise with willingness to help those who will need my care.
I arise with hesitation as I think about the pain that may come.
I arise with longing for ever greater inner freedom.
I arise with happiness, knowing that I am invited to live life more fully.
I arise with love for the Holy One, my Intimate Companion.

Compassionate God and faithful Friend, thank you for the opportunity to walk into another year of life. Help me to be faithful, to be generous, to be yours.


PSALM 71

In You, O my Beloved, do I take refuge;
Let me never feel separated from You!
In your compassion come and refresh me;
listen to my cry,
answer my plea!
Be to me a rock, a tower of strength,
a strong arm to uphold me,
as I abandon myself into your hands.

Be a very Presence to me as fear grips me.
For You, O Friend, are my hope,
my strength, since I was but a child.
Upon you have I trusted from my birth,
You, whom I knew before my mother's womb.
I continually sing praises to you.

I have been a burden to many;
In you alone will I trust.
I am filled with gratitude and
sing your praises all the day.
Do not abandon me in my old age;
desert me not when my strength is
spent, or
when my mind plays tricks with me.
For fears rise up to confuse me,
doubts and forgetfulness
band together,
And say,"the Beloved no longer dwells with you;
there is no one to stand by you."

O Friend be not far from me;
O Beloved come and enfold me
in your Presence!
Help me to release my fears.
Hear my prayer that they may be transformed,
O You, who are my Counsellor.
As I surrender myself into your hands,
I praise you more and more.
I tell others of your goodness
of your compassion and grace
all the day;
for your glory is beyond my understanding.
As I grow in inner peace and serenity,
I sing songs of praise,
to You my Friend!

You who have done wondrous things.
O Beloved, who is like You?
You who have seen me through many fears,
strengthen me again:
From the depth of despair
You renew my spirit,
You increase my trust, and You comfort me.

Blessed be the Beloved, who dwells in all hearts!



PRAYER FOR HEALING

Jesus, you are Lord. You are Lord of the whole universe; and you are my Lord, the Lord of my life. I take you now, once again, as Lord of my life; I profess you as my Lord.
I put my life under your lordship, into your hands. Each positive relationship in my life I put under your lordship. Each person that I hold dear, both the person and the relationship with that person, I place into your hands. Straighten out anything in that relationship that needs straightening or healing. Make any crooked ways straight, fill in any low points, level off any egoism or selfishness or possessiveness on my part in that relationship. Heal each one of these good and positive relationships in my life. Thank you, Lord.

Jesus, I put any and each negative relationship in my life under your lordship. Where you see in my heart resentment or anger of coldness toward the other person, put understanding and compassion. Where you see jealousy or envy put gladness for the other person. Where you find in me fear of that other person, put courage and confidence in myself and the necessary assertiveness.

Lord, you are the lord of my future. I put all my future into your hands, under your lordship. I give over to you, Lord of my future, the rest of today, all of tomorrow, the rest of this week, what remains of this year, the rest of my life, and after my life on earth. I hand over to you each one of my worries about the future, for myself and those dear to me. I trust in you, Jesus, increase my trust, increase in my heart my hope in you. Amen.


PSALM FOR PRAYING

O, Beloved, Heart of my heart,
I call to You for my help by day;
I cry out in the night.
Let my prayer come before You,
bend your ear to my cry!
For my soul is full of troubles, and my life sees like dust,
I have fallen into a pit of despair;
I have no strength and I feel powerless,
Like one from whom You have turned, like the soil people walk upon.
You alone can comfort me in the deep pit,
in the darkness of fear.
Separation from You is an agony,
hopelessness threatens to overwhelm me.
Through You alone can I pray for my enemies, for those who ignore my plight.
I am in a prison chained by fear;
I am weary of tears.
Every day I call upon You, O Beloved;
I lift up my hands in supplication.
Will You raise me from this living death?
Will You mend a broken heart?
Let not your steadfast love pass me by;
have mercy on me, O Comforter!
Reach Your hand into the darkness of my fears,
by your saving grace forgive my unholy ways.
O Merciful Redeemer, I cry to You;
each day my prayer comes before You.
Let not separation keep me from your Heart;
be my strength as I face the darkness inside.
Too long have I let fear control me,
projecting onto others the demons dwelling within.
Let Your Love circle and envelop me;
in Your mercy raise me up.
Let peace become my companion all day long;
By night free me from the bonds of fear.
Let me be reconciled with family and friends;
and may I know You
as Loving Companion Presence
as in days of old.
Amen.


COMPASSION FOR YOURSELF

I want to forgive myself
for reaching for the unreachable star
for being fragile
for being ashamed of my pain
for blaming myself for my misery
for striving after unattainable perfection
for turning against myself along with my persecutor
for closing my heart to myself
for rehashing hurtful accusations
other made against me
for not being able to anticipate everything
for hating myself.
In short, I want to forgive myself for being human.



ADVENT PSALM

With prayerful pleas
and Advent songs of longing,
I await the birth of God's anointed One.
Come, O Gift of heaven's harmony,
and attune my third ear,
the ear of my heart,
so that I may hear,
just as Mary, faithful woman of Israel, heard.

O God, the time is short,
these days are too few
as I prepare for the feast
of the birth of Mary's son.
Busy days, crowded to the brim,
with long lists of gifts to buy
and things that must be done.

Show to me, also your highly favoured child,
how to guard my heart
from noise and hurry's whirl, so that I may hear your voice
calling my heart to create an empty space
that might be pregnant with heaven's fire.

Quiet me within,
clothe my body in peacefulness,
that your Word
once again may take flesh -
this time, within me -
as once it did in holy Mary,
long Advent days ago.

SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS

There are some things that can be learned only by sin. The history of sainthood is a history of sin: Teresa of Avila, Ignatius of Loyola, Charles de Foucauld all struggled their way to God as we do. Only when, like them, we discover the depths of our own neediness can we begin to discover our strengths and God's mercy.

REVELATION

The monks of a neighbouring monastery asked the Master's help in a quarrel that had risen among them. They had heard the Master say he had a technique that was guaranteed to bring love and harmony to any group.
On this occasion he revealed it: "Any time you are with anyone or think of anyone you must say to yourself: I am dying and this person too is dying, attempting the while to experience the truth of the words you are saying. If everyone of you agrees to practice this, bitterness will die out, harmony will rise."
Having said that, he was gone.

APPEARANCES

The Master always frowned on anything that seemed sensational. The divine, he claimed, is only found in the ordinary.
To a disciple who was attempting forms of asceticism that bordered on the bizarre the Master was heard to say, "Holiness is a mysterious thing: the greater it is, the less it is noticed."

FANTASY

What is the greatest enemy of enlightenment?
Fear.
And where does it come from?
Delusion.
And what is delusion?
To think that flowers around you are poisonous snakes.
How shall I attain to enlightenment?
Open your eyes and see.
What?
That there isn't a single snake around.




PSALM FOR PRAYING

O, Beloved, Heart of my heart,
I call to You for my help by day;
I cry out in the night.
Let my prayer come before You,
bend your ear to my cry!
For my soul is full of troubles, and my life sees like dust,
I have fallen into a pit of despair;
I have no strength and I feel powerless,
Like one from whom You have turned, like the soil people walk upon.
You alone can comfort me in the deep pit,
in the darkness of fear.
Separation from You is an agony,
hopelessness threatens to overwhelm me.
Through You alone can I pray for my enemies, for those who ignore my plight.
I am in a prison chained by fear;
I am weary of tears.
Every day I call upon You, O Beloved;
I lift up my hands in supplication.
Will You raise me from this living death?
Will You mend a broken heart?
Let not your steadfast love pass me by;
have mercy on me, O Comforter!
Reach Your hand into the darkness of my fears,
by your saving grace forgive my unholy ways.
O Merciful Redeemer, I cry to You;
each day my prayer comes before You.
Let not separation keep me from your Heart;
be my strength as I face the darkness inside.
Too long have I let fear control me,
projecting onto others the demons dwelling within.
Let Your Love circle and envelop me;
in Your mercy raise me up.
Let peace become my companion all day long;
By night free me from the bonds of fear.
Let me be reconciled with family and friends;
and may I know You
as Loving Companion Presence
as in days of old.
Amen.

SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS

There is a difference between silence and emptiness. Silence is a very busy thing. It opens us to the exploration of the self. Emptiness is the vacuum we find when something is missing from our lives and needs to be replaced.

***************

Everyone is struck down by something in life. It is the detour that determines the definition of the journey. We can lose our way then and there, stay stuck in unfamiliar territory, stall and give up. Or we can take the new direction confident that in the end we will end up exactly where we were meant to be whether we can see how that is possible right now or not.

***************

"All sins," Simone Weil wrote, "are attempts to fill voids." When something important - love, dignity, respect - is missing in life, we find something to replace it. Young people find the gangs that will include them. Adults find the drugs that will numb them. When I find myself grappling with any kind of excess, the question must be, For what emptiness in me am I trying to compensate.



THE SELF

There is a revealing story of a monk living in the Egyptian desert who was so tormented by temptation that he could bear it no longer. So he decided to abandon his cell and go somewhere else. As he was putting on his sandals to carry out his resolve he saw another monk not far from where he stood who was also putting his sandals on.
"Who are you?" he asked the stranger.
"I am your self," was the reply. "If it is on my account that you are leaving this place. I would have you know that no matter where you go I shall go with you."

Said a despairing client to the psychiatrist, "No matter where I go I have to take myself along - and that spoils everything."
Both what you run away from - and what you yearn for - is within you.


PSALM FOR PRAYING

You take delight , O Radiant One,
in gracing me with new life!
O Beloved, come and renew me!
Let me face my weaknesses and all
that confuses me, that keeps me from joy!
I seek forgiveness for my wrongdoings,
I desire only You!
Let me begin anew, a as child
at its mother's breast, who basks in love.
May all who seek You rejoice and be glad!
May all who surrender to You say evermore,
"My joy is in the Beloved!"
Yet I am lowly and fear-filled;
hasten to me, Beloved!"
You are my strength and my joy;
O Beloved, come and renew me!


LOVE

To learn to love
is to be stripped of all love
until you are wholly without love
because until you have gone
naked and afraid
into this cold dark place
where all love is taken from you
you will not know
that you are wholly within love.


ON THE EDGE OF PAIN AND JOY

Beloved, we are always in the wrong,
Handling so clumsily our stupid lives,
Suffering too little or too long.
Too careful in our selfish loves:
The decorative manias we obey
Die in grimaces round us every day.
Yet through their tohu-bohu comes a voice
Which utters an absurd command - Rejoice.



TRUE SPIRITUALITY

The Master was asked, 'What is Spirituality?'
He said, Spirituality is that which succeeds in bringing man to Inner Transformation.
'But if I apply the traditional methods handed down by the Masters, is that not Spirituality?'
'It is not Spirituality if it does not perform its function for you. A blanket is no longer a blanket if it does not keep you warm.'
'So Spirituality does change?'
'People change and needs change. So what was Spirituality once is Spirituality no more. What generally goes under the name of Spirituality is merely the record of past methods.
Cut the coat to fit the person. Don't cut the person to fit the coat.


PSALM FOR PRAYING

Breathe on me, O Breath of Inspiration,
in the silence of my tranquil heart,
infill me with your wisdom.
O, that I might radiate the compassion and peace,
the truth and beauty of the Beloved!
Direct my steps, O Holy One, that
I may humbly walk with You.
The witness of your Life is my model;
therefore my soul yearns for You.
The unfolding of your Word gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.
My mouth pours forth praise continually,
for I am ever grateful for your Promises.

You come to me and you are gracious to me,
as You are to all who open their heart's door.
Guide my steps according to your Word,
and show me how to lovingly co-create with You.
Let me not be lured by the world's values,
that I may walk in the path of wholeness.
May your face shine upon your friend,
as You teach me of Love.
I weep over our wounded world,
our earth ravaged by greedy insensitive hands.


EMPTINESS

Sometimes there would be a rush
of noisy visitors and the silence
of the monastery would be shattered.

This would upset the disciples; not
the Master who seemed just as content
with the noise as with the silence.

To his protesting disciples he said
one day, "Silence is not the absence
of sound, but the absence of self."


SERVICE

The Master was known to favour
action over withdrawal. But he
always insisted on "enlightened" action.

The disciples wanted to know
what "enlightened" meant.
Did it mean 'right-intentioned'?

"Oh no," said the Master.
"Think how right-intentioned the monkey is
when he lifts a fish from the river
to save it from a watery grave."

People who talk a lot about themselves seldom want to hear what others have to say.



REFLECTION


The Sufi Bayazid says this about himself:
'I was a revolutionary when I was young and all my prayer to God was, "Lord, give me the energy to change the world."

As I approached middle age and realised that half my life was gone without my changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to: "Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come in contact with me. Just my family and friends, and I shall be content."

Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, my prayer now is: "Lord, give me the grace to change myself." If I had prayed for this right from the start I should not have wasted my life.


SMALL BEGINNINGS

How did Christ begin his great work, the salvation of the world?
He began simply, quietly. No fanfare. No fireworks. No public launching.
He began by calling a few people - two in fact.
It was as simple as that.
He began with personal contact and that is how his work developed.
It was passed on from person to person by word of mouth.

We shouldn't be surprised at this.
Things which begin with a splash often peter out.
Whereas those which begin quietly put down deep roots, grow steadily, and survive to produce fruits that last.

So, if there is something which we want to do,
let us not hesitate and think too much.
Let us make a start, however small.
Let us take one step. Let us plant one seed.
Let us trust that if our cause is good,
God will support us, and it will grow and prosper.

PRAYER FOR INNER HEALING

Lord Jesus, you know me perfectly. You know my good qualities and my bad ones. You know my past; you see it clearly. You know my future, you see it happening. You love me just as I am, without any conditions, without any qualifications.

You do not condemn me. You do not judge me. You do forgive me. You have given your life for me on the cross as though I were the only person beside you who ever walked on earth, and you would do it again if you had to. You call me by name, and you love me.

Jesus, free me from my pride, my complacency, my search for the glory of this world and for attention and prestige and appreciation. Teach me humility.

Heal me of any spiritual blindness, Lord, that I may see your face with the eyes of faith, with the eyes of my heart. Teach me to know you through love, especially for the powerful and personal love that you have in your heart for me.
Thank you for your love for me. Amen.


Calm me, O Lord, as you stilled the storm,
Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm.
Let all the tumult within me cease,
Enfold me, Lord, in your peace.



REFLECTION

Birth is a beginning and death a destination.
And life is a journey from childhood to maturity,
from youth to age;
from innocence to awareness,
from ignorance to knowing;
from foolishness to discretion
and then, perhaps, to wisdom;
from weakness to strength
or strength to weakness - and back again;
from health to sickness
and back, we pray, to health again;
from offence to forgiveness, from loneliness to love
from joy to gratitude, from pain to compassion;
from grief to understanding, from fear to faith;
from defeat to defeat to defeat . . .
Until looking backward or ahead, we see that victory lies
not at some high place along the way
but in having made the journey, stage by stage.


THE LONG VIEW

It helps now and then to step back
and take the long view.
the kingdom is not only beyond our efforts;
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work
Nothing we do is complete,
which is another way of saying that
the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings wholeness.
No programme accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further
development.
We provide yeast that produces effects
far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything,
and there is a sense of liberation in realising that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
a step along the way, an opportunity for
the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results
but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen.


SMALL BEGINNINGS

Many if not all great undertakings
begin in small and often hidden ways.
Seeds need the darkness, isolation and cover of the earth in order to germinate.
Therefore, for something to begin small, hidden, anonymous, is an advantage.
It means it can develop away from publicity.
There are no pressures. No burden of expectations.
It can develop at its own pace. There is no hurry.
Hurry ruins so many thing.
Hence the importance of beginnings,
of taking care of things in the beginning,
of the small in the accomplishment of the great.



A PENTCOST PRAYER

Come, Spirit who is our Light,
Shine among the shadows within.
Warm and transform our hearts
Come, Spirit who makes a home in us.
Draw us to the treasures of your dwelling.
Reveal to us the inner journey of love.
Come, Spirit, Comforter and Consoler.
Heal the wounded. Soothe the anxious.
Be consolation for all who grieve and ache.
Come, Spirit who energises our being.
Keep us from the tangles of toil and travail.
Lead us to moments of prayer and play.
Come, Spirit, consuming Fire of Love,
Fill us with enthusiasm for your vision.
May the desire for truth be vibrant in us.
Come, Spirit, joy of our souls.
Dance amid life's hills and valleys.
Encircle us with the delights of your dance.
Come, Spirit of wisdom and insight.
Draw us towards your goodness and light.
Direct our growth and guide our ways.
Come, Spirit, Strength of wounded ones.
Be warmth in hearts of those who grow cold.
Empower the powerless, rekindle the weary.
Come, Spirit, source of our peace. in us the action of peacemakers.
Heal the divisions that ravage the earth.

*****************


INTERCESSIONS

Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God's presence.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ's love.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God's word in the world.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.



AUTUMN PSALM OF FEARLESSNESS

I am surrounded by a peaceful ebbing
as creation bows to the mystery of life;
all that grows and lives must give up life,
yet it does not really die.
as plants surrender their life,
bending, brown and wrinkled,
and yellow leaves of trees
float to my lawn like parachute troops, they do so in a sea of serenity.

I hear no fearful cries from creation,
no screams of terror,
as death daily devours
once-green and growing life.
Peaceful and calm is autumn's swan song,
for she understands
that hidden in winter's death-grip
is spring's open-handed
full-brim breath of life.

It is not a death rattle that sounds
over fields and backyard fences;
rather I hear a lullaby
softly swaying upon the autumn wind.
Sleep in peace, all that lives;
slumber secure, all that is dying,
for in every fall there is the rise
whose sister's name is spring.

GIVING THANKS

O Divine Gift-giver,
I stand beneath the endless waterfall
of your abundant gifts to me.
I thank you especially for the blessing of life,
the most precious of all your gifts to me.
I thank you, Ever-generous One,
for clothing to wear,
for food and drink to nourish my body,
for all the talents and skills that you have bestowed upon me.
I thank you for the many joys of my life,
for family and friends,
for work that gives to me a sense of purpose
and invests my life with meaning.
I thank you as well
for the suffering and trials of my life
which are also gifts
and which together with my mistakes are among my most important teachers.

Grant that I may never greet a new day
without the awareness of some gift
for which to give you thanks.
And may constant thanksgiving
be my song of perpetual praise to you.




PRAYER OF GUIDANCE


Spirit of Guidance, I see before me numerous choices and a decision to be made.

There is division in my heart. Sometimes I want none of what I find. Sometimes I want it all. Sometimes I want to give up making decisions and wish that the future would go away.

I entrust my decision-making into your hands, ready to do my part but also knowing that I cannot do this without your help.

Lead me through all the unsure, unclear, doubtful, hesitant, and questioning moments that are mine as I search to find the right way in which to go.

Grant me the grace to choose freely, without being attached to the outcome. I trust that you will be with me as I make my decision prayerfully and with faith.

Assure me that your peace will rest deep within me as I make the decision that seems best for me at this time. I may continue to experience feelings of turmoil and confusion, but deep within I know that I can return to that settled place in me where you always dwell.

Guide and Director of my life, I place my life in your hands. Lead me to the path that will best deepen and strengthen my relationship with you.


BEWARE!

Following are the names of the Seven Mischievous Misses who are responsible for most of our troubles:
Miss Information,
Miss Quotation,
Miss Representation,
Miss Interpretation,
Miss Construction,
Miss Conception,
Miss Understanding.
Beware!




New School Year


Lord God,
Your spirit of wisdom fills our lives and
teaches us your ways.

Look upon our young people.
May they enjoy their learning and take delight in
new discoveries. Help them to persevere in their
studies and give them the desire to learn all things well.

Look upon our teachers.
May they strive to share their knowledge with gentle
patience and endeavour always to bring the truth to
eager minds.

Grant that students and teachers alike may follow Jesus
Christ, the way, the truth and the life, for ever and ever.
Amen.


Dear God


We are all different

And live in very different places

But you love each one of us the same

Because we are all part of your family.

Help us to remember

How much you love us

And to remember our brothers and sisters

In Ireland and around the world.

Amen.

Trocaire Prayer

Dear God
You know all our names,
know all about us,
and care for us every day.
Help us to remember children
throughout the world
Who don’t have enough to eat,
And help us to make a world
Where everybody has enough.
Amen.

In Sickness

The Lord gives; the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Lord, in sickness and in health,
I wish to serve you.
I ask for the gift of restored health
but if it is your will that my sickness continue
please give me the strength to bear my cross.


Canticle of Simeon

Now Master you can let your
servant go in peace
just as you promised

because my eyes have seen
the salvation which you
prepared for all the nations
to see

a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel

The Nunc Dimittis, Luke 2:29-32

At the beginning of a New Year….

I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in
darkness but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

Dear Lord,
When I have doubts and hesitations
act as my guide.
When I am in darkness, shine
like a lamp to light my path.
When I am worried or troubled,
help me to put all my trust in you.
When I feel lonely, help me to
remember that you are always with me.


Prayer for Advent.
May the Lord bless you.
May he wipe away your tears.
May you weep no more.
May your ears be attuned to his Word
and your steps follow his ways.
Then the Lord will guide you in peace
and feed you from the abundance of his love,
so that you may rejoice always and never lose
from your heart the love he gives. Amen

We cherish the ‘Evening of Life’ as we pray:

May he support us all the day
long, till the shades lengthen
and the evening comes, and the
busy world is hushed, and the
fever of life is over and our work is done!
Then in His Mercy may He give us a safe
lodging and a holy rest and peace at last.

Cardinal Newman

Suscipe of Catherine McAuley
My God
I am yours for
time and eternity
Teach me to cast myself entirely
into the arms of
Your loving Providence
with the most lively, unlimited
confidence in Your
compassionate, tender pity.
Grant me,
O most merciful Redeemer,
that whatever
You ordain or permit
may be acceptable to me.
Take from my heart all painful anxiety;
suffer nothing to sadden me but sin,
nothing to delight me but the hope
of coming to the possession of You,
my God and my All,
in Your everlasting kingdom. Amen

Prayer of the Pilgrim
Lord make us prophets of our times,
Pilgrims not wayfarers.
May each day begin with
prayerful preparation, opening
our hearts to you.
Make us aware, that although
individuals, we travel with others
and help us to keep vigil with you
in that holy place within the heart.
Deepen our awareness of your
abiding presence in us and
around us, as we journey
together today.

Amen


Sts Peter & Paul - 29th June

Lord Jesus,
Peter denied you and
Paul persecuted you;
yet you made them witnesses
of your love and truth.
Open our hearts to the
good news they preached,
and grant that we may all love him
whom we do not yet see,
Jesus, your Son our Lord.

Reflection
‘O my God, Trinity whom I adore, grant my soul peace;
make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling, and the place of your rest.
May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire,
completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, wholly given over to
your creative action.’
(Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity)


Reflection Litany to the Holy Spirit
Spirit of light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us.
Spirit of silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence.
Spirit of courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts.
Spirit of fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.
Spirit of peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.
Spirit of joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News.
Spirit of love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.
Spirit of power, bestow the gift of your strength upon us.
Spirit of truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.

Prayer for Vocations

Lord Jesus Christ,
While you walked the roads of Palestine,
you chose and called apostles
and confided to them the task of preaching the Gospel, of feeding your flock and ministering your Sacraments.
Grant that, in our day,
Your Church may not be deprived of holy priests who will share with everyone the fruits of your Passion and Resurrection.
Pope John Paul II


Prayer of the Pilgrim

Lord, make us the prophets of our times,
Pilgrims not wayfarers.
May each day begin
with prayerful preparation,
opening our hearts to you.
Make us aware,
that although individuals,
we travel with others
and help us to keep vigil with you
in that holy place within the heart.
Deepen our awareness of
your abiding presence in us and around us,
as we journey together today.
Amen.

We wish you Easter eyes – Eyes that will allow you see
Beyond death into life
Beyond sin to forgiveness
Beyond division to unity
Beyond wounds to beauty
Through the human to
the divine
Through the divine to
the human
From the ‘I’ to the ‘You’.
And - enabling all of this –
The totality of Easter energy!

Bishop Klaus Hemmerle - Aachen 1993

Dear God,

Thank you for the promises you
made us and for always looking
after us.
Help us to remember that all
people are our neighbours, and
help us to care for them as You
care for us.

Glory be to him whose power,
working in us, can do infinitely
more than we can ask or imagine;
glory be to him from generation
to generation in the Church and in
Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3: 20-21

2006

Talk with the year which is coming
as with a friend who is crossing your
threshold to bring you gifts.
Accept the Spring, the Summer, the
Autumn and the Winter of the year
and of life as perfect expressions
of the Creator and be thankful.
Then you will surely grow with it.

Ella W. Wilcox

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you. A Gaelic Blessing

A Family Prayer around the Advent Wreath

O God,
as light comes from these candles,
may the blessing of Jesus Christ come to us,
warming our hearts and brightening our way.
May Christ our Saviour
bring life into the darkness of this world,
and to us, as we wait for his coming.
Amen.


Father of love,
you made a new creation
through Jesus Christ your Son.
May his coming free us from sin
and renew his life within us,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Daily Prayer
O Wisdom, Come to teach me the way of truth.
O Lord of Israel, Come to redeem me with an outstretched arm.
O Root of Jesse, Come to bring me new life; do not delay.
O Key of David, Come to open my prison doors and set me free.
O Radiant Dawn, Come to bring light to the darkness in my life.
O King of all Nations, Come to save me and give me peace.
O God-With-Us, Stay with me and send me forth in your name.
Amen. O Antiphons, adapted

Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depths be praise.
In all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways.

CARDINAL NEWMAN - 16th October 2005


We cherish the ‘Evening of Life’ as we pray:

May he support us all the day
long, till the shades lengthen and
the evening comes, and the busy
world is hushed, and the fever of
life is over and our work is done!
Then in His Mercy may He give
us a safe lodging and a holy rest
and peace at last.

Cardinal Newman - 9th October 2005


Give us, Lord,
a humble, quiet, peaceable,
patient, tender, charitable mind
and in all our thoughts, words and deeds
a taste of your Holy Spirit.
Give us Lord,
a lively faith,
a firm hope,
a warm charity,
a love of you.
Give us warmth and delight
in thinking of you
and your grace and tender compassion to us.
The things that we pray for, Lord,
give us grace to work for,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. St Thomas More


I leave you now with this prayer:

that the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to each
one of you,
that He will give you the strength to go out
and profess that you are Christian,
that He will show you that He alone can fill your hearts.
Accept His freedom and embrace His truth
and be messengers of the certainty
that you have been truly liberated
through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
This will be the new experience,
The powerful experience,
that will generate, through you, a more just society
and a better world.
God bless you, and may the joy of Jesus
be always with you.
Amen - John Paul II

 

A prayer for those who live alone

I live alone dear Lord,
stay by my side.
In all my daily needs
be thou my guide.
Grant me good health, for that indeed I pray,
to carry on my work from day to day.
Keep pure my mind, my thoughts,
my every deed, let me be kind,
unselfish in my neighbours’ needs.
Spare me from fire, from flood,
malicious tongues,
from thieves, from fear and evil ones.
If sickness or an accident I befall,
then humbly Lord I pray, hear thou my call.
And when I’m feeling low or in despair,
Lift up my heart and help me in my prayer.
I live alone dear Lord, yet have no fear,
because I feel your presence ever near.
Amen

Dear Lord,
Let me know
the cool breeze of your Spirit over me.

Let me know
the gentle warmth of your love within me.

Let me know
that you are here, Lord Jesus.

Help me on dark days
when it seems you have gone away.

Help me on sunny days
when you are here to stay.

Let me know
that you are here, Lord Jesus. Amen.

PRAYER FOR FINE WEATHER

All powerful and ever living God, we find
security in your forgiveness; give us the
fine weather we pray for so that we may
rejoice in your gifts of kindness and use
them always for your glory and our good.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord
Amen.

TIME TO PRAY

I got up early one morning
and rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
that I didn’t have time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me,
and heavier came each task.
Why doesn’t God help me? I wondered.
He answered, “you didn’t ask”.

I wanted to see joy and beauty,
but the day toiled on, grey and bleak.
I wondered why God didn’t show me,
He said, “but you didn’t seek”.

I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys at the lock,
God gently and lovingly chided,
“My child, you didn’t knock”.

I woke up early this morning,
And paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish
That I HAD to take Time to Pray.


PRAYER for FATHER’S DAY

Bless, O God
our families.

Give to fathers and mothers
and those who care for us
the spirit of understanding
and the spirit of love,
that our homes may be
places of peace and laughter.

Come into our homes, O Lord,
and protect us with your love,
so that we may live in peace
and rejoice in the quiet beauty
of your blessing.

Christopher Herbert

EXAM PRAYER

Dear Lord,
Help me approach my exams
with a clear head and a calm mind.
Give me your strength
and your peace
and let me do justice to
all that I have learned.
Thank you Lord,
for all my talents and gifts.

Grant me, O Lord,
the courage to change the things that I can,
the serenity to accept the things that I cannot,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

God of infinite goodness,
from the very beginning of your Church
you have enabled us to renew our faith
through communion with the
Body and Blood of Christ.
May the sacrament of your love
sustain us as we journey towards the day
when this mystery will stand unveiled
for ever and ever.


Open Wide the Doors
If we let Christ into our lives, we
lose nothing, nothing, absolutely
nothing of what makes life free,
beautiful and great. Only in this
friendship are the doors of life
opened wide. Only in this
friendship is the great potential
of human existence truly revealed.
Only in this friendship do we
experience beauty and liberation.
And so, today, with great strength
and great conviction,on the basis
of long personal experience of life,
I say to you, dear young people:
Do not be afraid of Christ! He
takes nothing away, and he gives
you everything. When we give
ourselves to him, we receive a
hundredfold in return. Yes,open,
open wide the doors to Christ –
and you will find true life. Amen.
Pope Benedict XVI
End of homily at Mass of Inauguration, 24 April 2005

 


 

PARISH OF BANAGHER, 42 Glenedra Road, Feeny, Dungiven, Co Derry BT47 4TW | Tel: 028 - 7778 1223