Communique #8 – Spiritual Development
National Chairperson of Spiritual Development Shari Guinta, May 5, 2020.
“The mystery of the Church is very much linked to the mystery of Mary, the mother of God and mother of the Church. Mary bears and cares for us, so does the Church; and like Mary, the church makes us grow” (A Year with Pope Francis: Daily reflections from his writings).
Members have been prayed for! April 26th was the Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel, and a mass (held annually) was broadcast on Salt + Light TV for the intentions of The Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Typically councils across the country hold a mass, special prayer service or celebration. So members have been prayed for and blessed.
It is hoped that councils continue to pray “together.” Some provincial councils have announced a day and time each week or month that members can recite a certain prayer or pray the rosary so that they are praying together in a united voice. This gives comfort to many—those who are usually active and cannot be due to COVID-19 restrictions and those usually at home. All voices united together.
Members’ thoughts and prayers go to those in Nova Scotia who have recently suffered the trauma of violence. Please remember those who were senselessly murdered and the families left to grieve.
May is the month of Mary, the Blessed Mother. It is typically a month where again members pray together. Chairpersons are invited to encourage members and councils to reach out to each other and pray the rosary or organize a prayer service during May.
Dioceses across Canada have been consecrated by prayer for protection during the pandemic. The service was created by the liturgy office of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The first day of May holds particular significance as it marks the beginning of an entire month to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. ‘May is the month dedicated in a special way to the Mother of Christ. We believe that she is, in a spiritual but real sense, our mother too,’ said the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and CCCB president. ‘We turn to her and ask for the help of her powerful and maternal prayers to God for us. To consecrate ourselves to Mary means to be united with her in entrusting our lives entirely to God.’” See cccb.ca for the full press release and hamiltondiocese.com for further information.
In addition the Holy Father, Pope Francis has announced that May 14th will be a day of prayer and fasting for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. His Holiness “calls on believers of all religions to pray together on May 14 to ask God to rid the world of the pandemic and asks that the vaccines to be made available to all infected persons.” See americamagazine.org for the complete article, “Pope Francis joins Muslim leaders in calling for world day of prayer to end coronavirus.” The announcement came from “Call to prayer from the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity” May 2nd press release by the Vatican and can be read at w2.vatican.va.
Chairpersons are encouraged to contact their counterparts to inform them of this day of prayer and plan to pray together with their brothers and sisters around the world.
As many Catholics are not permitted into their churches, it is difficult to be without mass. Many, however, are watching and participating in mass through Facebook and YouTube. Although members cannot receive communion physically, they can spiritually. The following is a prayer for spiritual communion:
An Act of Spiritual Communion
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
I suggest chairpersons of spiritual development create prayer services for members to use. There are many online vehicles like GoToMeeting™, Zoom, etc. that can be used to contact and offer online workshops and webinars for members. I have participated in several over the last few months, and they were quite good. Chairpersons are invited to investigate this further. It is so important to continue to stay in touch with members and to preserve the League’s profile in the church.
Some resources that might be of interest:
• More Than Survive by Fr. Frank Freitas (Catholic Register Books)
• On Earth as it is in Heaven by Josephine Lombardi (Novalis)
• A Recipe for Faith: Choosing and Using the Best Ingredients by Anne Jamieson (Novalis)
• Seasons of Your Heart: Prayers & Reflections Revised and Expanded by Macrina Wiederkehr (HarperOne)
• 5-Minute Retreats for Women by Sue Augustine (Harvest House Publishers)
God bless you in your efforts.