Monday, June 3, 2013

Worldwide Holy Hour

Yesterday (on what was Corpus Christi here in the United States), at 11am Eastern Time, the entire Catholic world was to be united in a world-wide Eucharistic Holy Hour.  Pope Francis called for the day to pray for 2 very specific intentions
First: “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.”

Second: “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.”
The Vatican says that this is the first time in history when people from all over the globe were called upon to pray at the same time.  The Catholic Church, fulfilling the prophecy of Malachi (1:11) and Psalm 113, prays "from the rising of the sun to its setting" - because she encompasses the entire world - and so somewhere, someone is praying at every moment.  But to pray all at the same time is something new and unique - like so many things about Pope Francis' Papacy...