What Is Prayer?

For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.

(St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Manuscrits autobiographiques, C 25r.)

The Pope Video July 2020

Let us pray that today’s families may be accompanied with love, respect and guidance, and especially, that they may be protected by the State.

Pope Francis – July 2020

Prayers for August

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart…Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed …Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,…Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I ... Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it
That, in the opinion of the world,others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let us pray. O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium: et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.

V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Oremus. Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere; et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum.

A Reflection before the Blessed Sacrament

A reflection before the Blessed Sacrament

Outside the church the noisy traffic flows past.

People rush hither and thither.

But I have left that world behind

and I am here before you, Lord.

I do not exclude my brothers and sisters.

I bring them with me,

for I know that they are equally dear to you.

I have nothing.

Yet I know that because I have you,

I have everything. I close my mind and open my heart, and so I am at peace.

Here I experience my true worth, which consists,

not in my possessions or achievements,

but in knowing that I am loved by you. 

Sub tuum

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix.

Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus,

sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper,

Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen.


We fly to thy protection, O holy Mother of God.
Despise not our petitions in our necessities,
but deliver us always from all dangers
O glorious and blessed Virgin.


This prayer, first found in c. 300, is the oldest known prayer to the Virgin.

The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, 
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, 
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. 
Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, 
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. 
To thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. 
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, 
but in thy mercy hear and answer me. 


As we passed the year’s longest day last month, many families felt that this was the longest year ever as so many suffered at various levels from the effects of the pandemic. Families grieved the loss of beloved elders and loved ones while enduring job losses and economic uncertainty. At the invitation of the Pope, in June we contemplated the wounded side of the Saviour and took solace and strength from the blood and water that flowed from his Sacred Heart. We prayed with Pope Francis that many hearts would be touched by that Heart. Now, in July, the Pope invites us to pray with him for families: “that today’s families may be accompanied with love, respect and guidance”.

When Pope Francis decided, in consultation with the leaders of his worldwide prayer-group, on the intentions that would be presented to us each month this year, none of us had heard of COVID. Now, halfway through the calendar year, it is the backdrop to everything we pray, say and do. There are signs of hope in some places that it might be ending and signs of magnificent great love in the efforts of healthcare professionals in particular and essential workers everywhere. At every time of prayer in these days, we must pray for them and in thanks for their magnificent service of others.

As we pray with the Pope this month, we might note that we are not only praying for families, although goodness knows we would want to – for our own families, for those who have no family, for shattered refugee families and, at this time, for families devastated by the effects of the contagion. We make that prayer but recognise that the Holy Father invites to a specific intention, that families may be accompanied. Who is to accompany them?