During July we are invited to pray with Pope Francis for justice.
“The integrity of justice: that those who administer justice may work with integrity, and that the injustice present in the world may not have the last word.”
There are several ways of understanding justice, such as criminal justice, social justice and now environmental justice. That they be of concern for the follower of Christ really matters – working for the preservation of the integrity of justice is one of the key challenges that face human society and the Church’s mission, exactly the areas that the Holy Father wishes to highlight with each month’s intention. And we must always be aware of the times and places where injustice in the world might look like it is having the last word.
Pope Francis has suggested that we should root justice in “the heart of a Father who goes beyond our little concept of justice to open us to the limitless horizons of his mercy”. That boundless mercy is where we derive the genuine integrity for which we pray as we join the Pope in this month’s intention. We’re praying that mercy, not injustice, have the last word. With that goes our commitment to do what we need to do, for this to happen.
At the end of June, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network gathered many people associated with this mission in Rome to celebrate 175 years since our first beginning.
From those early days in France, this pontifical service has grown to become the Church’s largest prayer group, operating in at least 97 countries. Known to millions for many decades as the Apostleship of Prayer, this work underwent a major renovation in the last decade, transforming itself into the Prayer Network.
More recently it has grown into the digital world, notably with the Click-to-Pray online platform and downloadable app. A much-loved Morning Offering prayer has been expanded and developed and now appears each day on this app and website.
CTP was the official online prayer platform at the recent international World Youth Days in Panama. Indeed, Pope Francis, at the January 20 Sunday Angelus in St Peter’s Square, presented Click-to-Pray and launched his own profile (see the News tab on our international website, www.popesprayer.va).
You could take a look also at the Pope Video initiative, in which the Holy Father personally presents each month’s intention and appeals to us to pray with him.
THREE CHALLENGES FOR THE MONTH
- Think of, or chat with others about good practices in the administration of justice, pondering these as a way to underline the importance of doing justice with integrity and truth. Look for opportunities to tell others about them.
- Reflect, on your own or in your family, community or friendship circles, and do an examination of conscience on how we can easily tolerate injustice, in our interpersonal relations and our politics, particularly when minorities or those already marginalised might be injured.
- Promote in your parish or community a time of reflection and prayer for those who administer justice and reflect on unjust situations, especially injustice seems to have the last word, and on ways to overcome them.
As St Ignatius of Loyola suggested in his Spiritual Exercises, we can use our imaginations to be present to the Blessed Trinity, gazing on the earth and on all of human history. The heart of the Trinity is pained by how far humanity has strayed from the Trinity’s highest hopes for us, not least in how we have treated each other but also our common home, this planet.
The Trinity sees much love on the earth but also much injustice, socially and environmentally. Imagine then the surge of divine love that becomes the Incarnation, as the very heart of God becomes a human heart, the sacred heart of Jesus, entering our reality where we most need it. Speak directly to his heart whatever words seem right. Let him speak to you, with or without words.
A MORNING OFFERING PRAYER
Good Father, I know you’re with me.
Here I am in this new day.
Put my heart once more next to the Heart of your Son Jesus,
that is given for me and that comes to me in the Eucharist.
May your Holy Spirit make me your friend and apostle, available to your mission.
I put in your hands my joys and hopes,
my works and sufferings, everything that I am and have,
in communion with my brothers and sisters of this worldwide prayer network. Together we pray with the Holy Father and the whole people of God for this month’s intention.