INCLUSIVE SPIRITUALITY – This Week in Prayer
This weekly column – a prompt and a resource for your prayer and awareness – is specially intended to be helpful in preparing prayer for a community or group. You are welcome to alert us to upcoming special occasions within the Edmund Rice Network.
Monday 20 May 2013
EAST TIMOR’S INDEPENDENCE DAY
Sometimes called Independence Restoration Day, because having declared itself independent of Portugal in 1975, Timor L’Este was quickly occupied by Indonesia, until 2002. The country, 400 miles north-west of Darwin, Australia, is linked into Oceania’s Edmund Rice Network, and features from time to time on our Oceania website www.edmundrice.org.au
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” (Desmond Tutu)
Tuesday 21 May
WORLD DAY FOR CULTURAL DIVERSITY FOR DIALOGUE & DEVELOPMENT
The long and unwieldy name of this Unesco-sponsored day, declared in the wake of 9/11, could be captured in the words ‘living together in harmony’. It is based on an appreciation of the world’s cultural richness as part of “the common heritage of humanity”, a diversity as necessary as bio-diversity. The declaration - which can be read on the site www.unesco.org – contains good material for reflection and prayer.
“The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
Wednesday 22 May
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
The theme for this year’s UN Day for Biological Diversity is “Water and Biodiversity”, chosen to coincide with the UN’s naming 2013 as the International Year of Water Co-operation.
“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.” (Phillips Brooks)
Thursday 23 May
WORLD TURTLE DAY
A day intended to increase our respect for turtles and tortoises and encourage action to help the world’s oldest creature to survive. “These gentle creatures have been around for about 200 million years, yet they are now rapidly disappearing”, comments one website. Their situation dramatizes the interconnection of all things and the vital importance of ecological awareness as a facet of healthy human spirituality.
“The intellect always cuts and divides like a pair of scissors. The heart sews things together and unites like a needle. The tailor uses both.” (Ammachi)
Friday 24 May
FEAST OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
This simple way of appreciating Mary, formalized as a feast-day nearly two centuries ago, has been popularized by Don Bosco and his Salesian followers around the world. The feast comes as a reminder that the month of May is traditionally devoted to the mother of Jesus.
“We cannot discover new oceans until we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” (Muriel Chen)
Saturday 25 May
AFRICA DAY and
start of a WEEK OF SOLIDARITY and
INTERNATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN’S DAY
Africa Day is a reminder of all there is to celebrate about Africa. Though Africa’s very real problems receive much exposure, it also has a wealth of beauty that the average tourist only skim-reads. The Edmund Rice Network around Africa is privileged to experience this beauty in powerful ways, and to share it with visitors from other parts of the network who come for immersion experiences or as volunteers. Let us pray today for the African ERN and the circles of people around them. For background to Africa Day, see the website www.africaday.info
The Week of Solidarity with the Peoples of non-Self-Governing Territories lasts till 31 May. It is an invitation to join the United Nations in “renewing the world’s commitment to supporting people aspiring towards independence while still living under colonialisation”.
Missing Children’s Day reminds us of children separated from their families, vulnerable and in danger. A good website for raising awareness is www.icmec.org
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” (Steve Jobs)
Sunday 26 May
TRINITY SUNDAY and
FEAST OF ST PHILIP NERI and
Here are six places where you can find commentaries on this Sunday’s readings:
St Philip Neri is remembered for his commonsense and cheerfulness: “A joyful heart”, he said, “is more easily made perfect than a downcast one”. Living in Italy in the 16th Century, he sensed that what was needed to influence society in his day was something different from the monastic model, so he founded the Oratorians, to whom we send greetings on his feastday.
Sorry Day is an Australian initiative “to express regret over the historical mistreatment of Aboriginal peoples”. Many nations could take a cue from this gesture. And, on an interpersonal level, ‘sorry’ may well be one of the most important words needed in our vocabulary.
“If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.” (Vincent Van Gogh)
For further websites and blogs that can support your prayer and reflection, click the PRIVATE REFLECTIONS button under PRAYER GUIDE on the right of our home page.
brother Michael Burke