Among the many intentions we will bring to our prayer during April, the Holy Father invites us to consider also what is in his heart and his prayers this month.
This month brings us Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Good Friday, then the bright triumph of absolute good over evil’s darkness on Easter Day.
Pope Francis invites us to pray for a particularly heroic and brave group, doctors and their humanitarian collaborators in war zones, who risk their lives to save the lives of others.
He shares this so that we might hold these courageous and generous professionals in our prayer too, thanking God for them and for the selfless good that they do – a powerful story that is, perhaps, not always told as it might be.
Here in England and Wales we are blessed to have the widely admired humanitarian and development agency CAFOD.
Other agencies operating in war-zones include Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). Founded in Paris in 1971, following the war and humanitarian disaster in Biafra, they work to provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare.
Their mission is to remain impartial and neutral, guided by medical ethics and by the demands of justice.
A suggested Morning Offering prayer, from the Living Prayer 2019 booklet:
Merciful Father, I thank you for your presence in my life and your immense love. May my heart become more like the heart of Jesus and may this union of hearts be reflected in the way I interact with my colleagues, my family, friends and strangers. I offer you my day, in union with the Heart of Jesus, for the Church and the intentions of the Holy Father. Our Father …
Pope Francis’s Prayer: May he Lord help all the little ones and the poor of our world to continue to believe and trust that the Kingdom of God is at hand, in our midst, and is ‘justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Rom.14:17. May He sustain all those how, day by day, strive to combat evil with good, with words and deeds of fraternity, respect, encounter and solidarity. We ask all this in the power of the crucified and risen Lord – Amen.
THREE CHALLENGES for this month
- Get to know about the work of medical and humanitarian agencies that carry out their mission in war zones, such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, Jesuit Refugee Service and CAFOD.
- Promote in your worshipping community, perhaps during Holy Week, a moment of prayer for all those who put their lives at risk to help the victims of war.
- Reflect on how to put academic and professional talents at the service of others, especially the poorest and those who suffer. Ask a trained and experienced spiritual director to guide and accompany your discernment. You might find an Easter invitation to action, from the Risen Lord!
Log on to our website www.click-to-pray.org and download the latest version of the app. (on App Store, iTunes and Google Play) to pray with the Pope, and hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world. This app connects you with all who pray with the Pope in a quick, easy and creative way.
Each day, the app offers a different set of short and accessible prayers including a fresh Morning Offering for each day. There’s a Prayer Wall on which you can post intentions, anonymously if you wish, for others to pray with you. Click to pray each morning and make this world better each day.