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Prayer for the World December 20, 2023

Greetings this Third Week of Advent.  I am sending you two prayers this week!  One is a continuation of the prayers coming from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which you can do any time this week.  The other is a prayer we will be doing here at Victory Noll tomorrow with a focus on immigrants.  

Blessings to you as we move through these final days of Advent,

Sr. Beatrice Haines,

OLVM Social Justice Coordinator

Third Week of Advent:  Let Us Rejoice


During this third week of Advent, we are called to rejoice and recognize that the Spirit of God is among us. In this time of awakening our awareness of our interior response to the divisions around us, may we know the deeper joy of choosing presence when discomfort arises. This day may we know healing love and the courage to share this love with friends and strangers, those with whom we have much in common and those with whom we disagree.

Scripture “As soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.” Luke 1:44


That Open Secret About Political Polarization by Jake Teeny

Listen to the journey of understanding the power of conversation as a way of beginning the journey to heal polarization.

As on a Day of Festival by Jan Richardson

Call it the waters of salvation or the garlands of gladness.

Call it the grave-clothes falling away, or call it the loosening of the chains.

Call it what binds us together: fierce but fragile but fierce.

Call it the thin, thin place where the veil gives way.

Or call it this: the path we make when we go deep and deeper still into the dark and look behind to see the way has been lit by our rejoicing.


Spend a few minutes in the space of greeting between Elizabeth and Mary. Recall the experience of being known in the depth of your open heart. Now, recall a time that in the midst of a conversation, you felt invisible, disregarded or unheard. As you listen to others, be aware of your reactions. When encountering someone with an opposite opinion, notice your internal response. Become conscious of choosing interior serenity. Consider inviting that person into a conversation. Practice asking the others opinion while choosing to listen.

Beneath the challenge, conflict, frustration, and aggression, there is both fear and anger. Unleashing the power of listening in love upon the raw experience of polarizing rightness, there is a new kind of joy in the miracle of what is possible.

Make us your instruments, Emmanuel, God With Us.



Caring for the Migrant





Rabbis tell us that there is no Old Testament commandment to love your parents, husband, wife, or children. There are only three commands: to love the Lord your God, love your neighbor, and love the alien in the land. Deuteronomy 10: 19 gives this third commandment to love and explains why: you were once aliens yourselves.


In October this year, Pope Francis led the synod participants in praying for migrants and refugees. He said that taking to heart the lesson of the parable of the good Samaritan is the key to assisting the millions of migrants and refugees forced to travel far from their homelands and often exploited along the way. “The road leading from Jerusalem to Jericho was not a safe route, just as today the many migration routes that traverse deserts, forests, rivers, and seas are not safe,” the pope said “How many of our brothers and sisters find themselves today in the same condition as the traveler in the parable? How many are robbed stripped and beaten along the way?”


Mantra:  Taize, Within our darkest night


Within our darkest night, you kindle the fire that never dies away, never dies away.

Within our darkest night, you kindle the fire that never dies away, never dies away.



Focus for our Prayer


The Church's dedication to caring for immigrants is explained by Pope Pius XII when he wrote that the Holy Family of Nazareth, fleeing into Egypt, is the archetype of every refugee family. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, living in exile in Egypt to escape the fury of an evil king, are the models and protectors of all migrants and refugees of whatever kind who are compelled by fear of persecution or by want, to leave their native lands and to seek a foreign soil.


In April this year, Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, the U.S. bishops’ Migration Chairman, praised the Biden administration for their recent efforts to accommodate the increased need for refugee resettlement from Latin America and the Caribbean, but he expressed concern that the most vulnerable, including families, will face rushed proceedings without proper due process. He also said the complex challenges of migration facing the U.S. cannot be resolved without overhauling the nation’s immigration system and making a long-term commitment to address root causes.


Current waves of migrants should challenge our nation and especially our Church to remember that, with the exception of our indigenous peoples, all of us are descendants of immigrants. And that, as members of one universal family, we are all called to lifelong conversion, communion and solidarity as brothers and sisters in Christ.



Silent Prayer


For all migrants, refugees, asylum seekers everywhere in our world, that they not feel compelled to migrate but instead experience peace and safety, and opportunities in their homeland where they can thrive and live fully human lives – we pray.


For those who lovingly welcome refugees and provide legal and social services for them, especially for our partner in mission, The Florence Project in Arizona – we pray.


For children making perilous journeys, often alone and without the protection of loved ones – we pray.


For those whose hearts are hardened and whose eyes are blind toward strangers. May they experience healing of their hearts and opening of their eyes to see them and treat them as God sees and treats them – we pray.


For governments as they seek wisdom and courage to secure their borders while providing respectful and humane treatment for asylum seekers and other migrants – we pray.


Jesus, Mary and Joseph, you know well the sufferings and anxieties of persons fleeing their own country and seeking refuge and hope in another. Be with all our brothers and sisters who are fleeing to other countries, seeking asylum, seeking refuge as you did in Egypt. Be with all who are welcoming or refusing to welcome these strangers into their midst. Open our eyes, open our hearts to see them as you see them, to love and care for them as you do.  We thank you!   Amen.



Mantra:       Within our darkest night you kindle the fire . . . .

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