March 21, 2022
Lenten cross

April: Dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament

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By Maureen William OCDS,
Christchurch President

Dear brothers and sisters in Carmel,

As I was reading this Sunday’s Office of Readings I saw this quote from The Spiritual Writings of Blessed Francis Pulau on the power of prayer for the Church:

Since God do not distribute His graces to men except through prayer, because He wishes us to recognise Him as the source from which all good things flow, in like manner, He does not wish to save from danger, or cure our wounds, or console us in affliction, except by means of this same exercise of prayer.

We are halfway through Lent; mid-way through our special time of prayer, fasting and alms-giving; an appropriate time indeed to pray for those in need of our prayers. Hence I urge all to join in the call of our Holy Father to pray for the people of Ukraine in a Vigil for Peace: 12 hours of Prayer for Peace in Ukraine. All churches in New Zealand shall be open from 7am to 7pm. New Zealand’s Catholic bishops are asking Catholics here to offer special prayers for everyone caught in the Ukraine war by going to their local parish church on Friday 25th March (Feast of the Annunciation) to pray the Rosary.

Bishop Stephen Lowe, the Bishop of Auckland and Secretary of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference, said visiting a church next Friday would be a show of solidarity:

All over Ukraine, people are having to flee their homes because of the war. Leaving our homes here in New Zealand to go to our local church to pray on this special day would very much be showing solidarity to the people having to leave their homes.
This is the season of Lent, which is about the change, the conversion of the heart. Christ calls us to love our enemies and to embrace each other as brothers and sisters. And as we pray for Ukraine we also remember those caught in other conflicts, including Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere.

May we also continue to pray for the special members of our Community, the Sisters of Christchurch Carmel and all those who have asked for our prayers.

Have a blessed Holy Week and a Spirit-filled Easter.

God bless,

Maureen William, OCDS

Christchurch's Peace of Christ Community President