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A Prayer for Peace

 

Jean-Jullien prayer for peace

In the wake of the tragic events that have taken place this past week, Pope Francis has encouraged all of us to continue to pray for peace in the world. He tells us, “I want to strongly reaffirm that the path of violence and hatred doesn’t solve the problems of humanity!”

Here at Catholic Sistas we stand beside our Papa in praying for those who have been mercilessly murdered and for those who will forever be impacted by the events that have unfolded. We ask that you pray along with us, not only for these people, but for those who have inflicted such cruel and terrible pain upon others. Matthew 5:44 tells us, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” We pray that God will work within their hearts to help them turn from their sins, to accept Christ into their lives, and to work for peace.

Pope John Paul II penned the following prayer for peace. Today and every day we ask our Father to help us usher in peace in our own families, our communities, and in our world.

O God, Creator of the universe, who extends your paternal concern over every creature and guides the events of history to the goal of salvation, we acknowledge your fatherly love when you break the resistance of mankind and, in a world torn by strife and discord, you make us ready for reconciliation. Renew for us the wonders of your mercy: send forth your Spirit that He may work in the intimacy of hearts that enemies may begin to dialogue, that adversaries may shake hands and peoples may encounter one another in harmony. May all commit themselves to the sincere search for true peace which will extinguish all arguments, for charity which overcomes hatred, for pardon which disarms revenge.   Amen.

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Advent Christmas Ink Slingers Liturgical Year Michelle Spiritual Growth

Random Acts of Kindness: An Advent Gift

advent candles 1

 

With Advent right around the corner and Christmas to follow afterward, Catholics everywhere are getting ready for the upcoming holidays. Both here and on the Catholic Sistas’ fan page we have challenged you to prepare for Christmas ahead of time, even helping you by providing a countdown and list of “things to do” week by week so that you can enjoy your upcoming Advent season without stressing about the Christmas season.

Hopefully with your Christmas shopping under wraps early, you can begin to plan how you will enjoy and celebrate your Advent season.

Last week Christi gave us a wonderful Quick Take 7 regarding activities we can do with our families to help make our Advent celebrations holy, memorable, and special. It’s important that we actually take the time out of our busy schedules to truly enjoy Advent.

Advent is the beginning of our new liturgical year. In Latin the word Advent means “coming”. We are encouraged to focus our hearts and minds on the upcoming birth of Christ as well as His second coming at the end of times. We should not only prepare our families, but we should also look to prepare ourselves for this beautiful season in the Church year.

One way to prepare our hearts and minds is to begin to think of others instead of ourselves. I would like propose an Advent challenge to each of you. This Advent I pray you will seek to perform random acts of kindness for those you encounter. What better way is there to prepare a place in your heart for Christ than by allowing Christ’s light to shine through all you say and do?

I have compiled a list of some random acts of kindness you might think about incorporating into your day, but I would love to hear your ideas as well!

Each day vow to make at least one person’s day better through a random act of kindness. Perhaps you are able to do more; if so, I challenge you to extend your kindness to as many people as you can. Imagine the joy you can spread by performing simple acts of kindness for others!

You can:

  • Pay for the person behind you in a coffee shop or drive thru
  • Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while to reconnect with them
  • Offer to babysit for a harried mom or dad (for free!)
  • Leave a small gift for a stranger in a random place
  • Leave a small note of appreciation to someone who could use a pick me up
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line
  • Give a homeless person a food and/or gift card to a restaurant
  • Volunteer at your local homeless shelter
  • Send a card or flowers to someone you know is going through a hard time
  • Tape coins to a vending machine with a note saying “Enjoy a treat on me!”
  • Visit someone who is homebound; make them a meal to share together
  • Leave kind notes on people’s windshields reminding them that they are special
  • Hand write a thank you note to someone who has done something kind for you
  • Donate blood
  • Write a Christmas card to a soldier
  • Send a Christmas box of goodies to a soldier
  • Choose to smile at everyone you encounter and say hello
  • Write a letter to someone who has greatly impacted your life
  • Bring a homemade baked good for your office or class
  • Offer to help an elderly neighbor
  • Leave your mail carrier a surprise treat in your mailbox
  • Call a store or restaurant where you have received good service and brag to the manager about the person who helped you
  • Instead of getting defensive or angry in a situation, remain calm and compassionate instead
  • Donate your used books, clothes, or household items to your local library, shelter, or emergency center
  • Give blankets, coats, and socks to the homeless
  • Offer your prayers for those you know are in need of them
  • Forgive someone who has hurt you even if they have not asked for your forgiveness

What other random acts of kindness could we perform to help others see Christ’s light and love shining through us during this upcoming Advent season? How can we further prepare our hearts and minds to receive the Christ child?

My friends, I pray that your Advent season will be full of joyful anticipation and small acts of loving kindness which will focus your heart and mind on Christ’s coming.