Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Prayer Request

Please pray for the Christians suffering persecution in India, including torture, forced conversion, loss of property, mutilation, rape and murder.

Catholic Online has a Virtual Vigil of Prayer and Solidarity for our brothers and sisters suffering this terrible persecution. Please sign it and pledge at the very least to pray a Rosary for them.

As today is Tuesday, I would like to offer a short reflection on the Sorrowful Mysteries in light of the tragedy taking place in India. May we, through prayer and sacrifice, join our hearts to theirs in a fervent petition for the Lord's protection and intercession!

First Sorrowful Mystery: Agony in the Garden
Dearest Lord, You spent the night before your Passion in prayer. You knew the trials You were to face, and though You faced them willingly, You felt all the fear and misery of a man led to his death. You know the terror in the hearts of our Christian brothers and sisters in India, who have watched their friends and families tortured or killed and know they may suffer the same. Strengthen them, Jesus. Infuse their hearts with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit, that they may face their trials with You beside them. Comfort and console them in their darkest hours.

Second Sorrowful Mystery: Scourging at the Pillar
Dearest Lord, though You were innocent of all wrongdoing, your enemies handed You over to be scourged and beaten. You suffered unspeakable pain for our sins and washed away our iniquities with your blood. You know the pain our Christian brothers and sisters in India are facing for their faith. Protect them, Jesus. Keep them from being delivered into the hands of their enemies, and bring an end to the violence that plagues that region.

Third Sorrowful Mystery: Crowning with Thorns
Dearest Lord, You endured the mockery of the Roman soldiers who dressed You in purple robes and placed a cruel crown of thorns upon your brow. As much as the pain of those sharp thorns, You felt the pain of their scorn and anger against You, who had come to Earth to save them. You know the sorrow of our Christian brothers and sisters in India who are persecuted for their faith, for living their lives in accordance with the teachings of the Gospel. Fortify them, Jesus. Let their suffering be witness to your greatness and a beautiful example to the world of what it truly means to be Christian.

Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Carrying of the Cross
Dearest Lord, even after suffering hours of abuse, You still were made to carry your cross, the instrument of your death, all the way to Calvary. So grave were your wounds, so deep your injuries, that You fell three times and Stephen was pressed into assisting you. What an honor, Lord, to share your suffering and bear the burden of your cross! We who share a faith with our brothers and sisters in India can also share their suffering. Though we do not endure the magnitude of their trials, we may fast, pray and make sacrifices in solidarity with them. What an honor, Lord, to forgo a meal or spend an hour in Adoration for them, and for You!

Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: Crucifixion
Dearest Lord, as You hung upon the cross broken, bruised and bleeding, You turned your thoughts to those who persecuted You. Even in the moment of your death, You forgave them and extended the fullness of your love to all those who tormented You. Those people committing evil acts against our brothers and sisters in India are your children, too. You love them with the same generous, merciful spirit that You love all your people. Forgive them, Jesus. Help them see the error of their ways and stop this persecution. Heal their hearts and open them to the Truth of your Word. Comfort all those who have lost family members and loved ones, as once You comforted your Mother as she stood at the foot of your cross.

Blessed and merciful Lord, Hear Our Prayer! St. Jude, patron Saint of impossible causes, Pray for Us! Blessed Virgin Mary, Patron of India, Pray for Us!

Picture credit.