Virginia Barton

1 June 2013: Hardly commonplace!

1 June 2013

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A unique event has been announced by Pope Francis for this Sunday, June 2nd, the great feast of Corpus Christi. He has asked the whole Church to join in a Holy Hour, beginning in Rome at 5 p.m. This is a clarion call to all Catholics wherever they may be, so we should harken to it. It is to be a universal event, and that, it seems has never happened before.

A summary of the message from Rome would spoil it, it speaks powerfully for itself:

 

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The first intention is:

“For the Church spread throughout the world and united today in the adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist as a sign of unity. May the Lord make her ever more obedient to hearing his word in order to stand before the world ‘ever more beautiful, without stain or blemish, but holy and blameless.’ That through her faithful announcement, the Word that saves may still resonate as the bearer of mercy and may increase love to give full meaning to pain and suffering, giving back joy and serenity.”

 

Pope Francis’ second intention is:

“For those around the world who still suffer slavery and who are victims of war, human trafficking, drug running and slave labour. For the children and women who are suffering from every type of violence. May their silent scream for help be heard by a vigilant Church, so that, gazing upon the crucified Christ, she may not forget the many brothers and sisters who are left at the mercy of violence. Also, for all those who find themselves in economically precarious situations, above all for the unemployed, the elderly, migrants, the homeless, prisoners and those who experience marginalization. That the Church’s prayer and its active nearness give them comfort and assistance in hope and strength and courage in defending human dignity.”

 

On June 2nd, those who can will go to a church, perhaps remembering those mentioned in the last sentence of the previous paragraph – many of whom are unable to go to church, or, have no church to go to. Others will join in, thanks to almost-instant worldwide communications: TV, internet, wireless. Yet others will join in in the silence of their hearts.

And the vast majority of suffering humanity knows nothing whatsoever about any of this, and perhaps those are the ones we could find a place for in our prayers during that holy hour.

 

 

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