Pope John Paul II's Message to Children for Christmas
Praise the name of the Lord! The children of every continent, on the night of Bethlehem, look with faith upon the newborn Child and experience the great joy of Christmas. They sing in their own languages, praising the name of the Lord. The touching melodies of Christmas spread throughout the earth.
They are tender and moving words which are heard in every human language; it is like a festive song rising from all the earth, which blends with the song of the angels, the messengers of the glory of God, above the stable in Bethlehem: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased!" (Lk 2:14).
The highly favored Son of God becomes present among us as a newborn Baby; gathered around Him, the children of every nation on earth feel His eyes upon them, eyes full of the heavenly Father?s love, and they rejoice because God loves them.
People cannot live without love. They are called to love God and their neighbor, but in order to love properly they must be certain that God loves them.
God loves you, dear children! This is what I want to tell you ? on the occasion of these Christmas feast days, which in a special way are your feast days.
I hope that they will be joyful and peaceful for you; I hope that during them you will have a more intense experience of the love of your parents, of your brothers and sisters, and of the other members of your family.
This love must then be spread to your whole community, even to the whole world, precisely through you, dear children. Love will then be able to reach those who are most in need of it, especially the suffering and the abandoned.
What joy is greater than the joy brought by love? What joy is greater than the joy which you, O Jesus, bring at Christmas to people's hearts, and especially to the hearts of children?
Raise your tiny hand, Divine Child, and bless these young friends of yours, bless the children of all the earth.
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Mary, Mother of God
Hail Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church!
Hail our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To your care I entrust the necessities of all families,
the joys of children,
the desires of the young,
the worries of adults,
the pain of the sick,
the serene old age of senior citizens!
I entrust to you the fidelity of your Son's ministers,
the hope of all those preparing themselves for this ministry,
the joyous dedication of virgins in cloisters,
the prayer and concern of men and women religious,
the lives and the commitment of all those who work for Christ's reign on earth.
Palm Sunday Meditation
With his entry into Jerusalem, Christ begins his journey of love and sorrow, which is the Cross. Look to him with renewed and zealous faith. Follow him! He does not promise illusory happiness; on the contrary, in order for you to achieve authentic human and spiritual maturity, he invites you to follow his demanding example, making his exacting choices your own.
May Mary, the Lord's faithful disciple,
accompany you on this journey of conversion
and growing intimacy with her divine Son who, "became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14).
Jesus became poor to enrich us with his poverty;
he took on our sins,
so that we might be redeemed by his blood shed on the cross.
Yes, for us Christ made himself obedient unto death.
Unto death on a cross.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
(From Christ in His Mysteries)
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Prayer for Easter
The Lord of life has risen with power,
bringing with him love and justice,
respect, forgiveness and reconciliation.
The One who from nothingness
had called the world into existence,
only he could break the seals of the tomb,
only he could become the source of New Life.
(From 1996 Easter Vigil Homily)
Message of Peace
The heart of the Gospel message is Christ,
who is everyone's peace and reconcilation.
May his contenance shine upon the path of humanity.
May his justice and his peace become a gift for all, without distinction!
"Then shall the wilderness be fertile land and fertile land become forest.
In the wilderness justice will come to live, and integrity in the fertile land;
integrity will bring peace,
justice give everlasting security" (Is 32:15-17).
A Prayer by Pope John Paul II
Sweat and toil, which work necessarily involves in the present condition of the human race, present the Christian and everyone who is called to follow Christ with the possibility of sharing lovingly in the work that Christ came to do. This work of salvation came about through suffering and death on a Cross. By enduring the toil of work in union with Christ crucified for us, man in a way collaborates with the Son of God for the redemption of humanity. He shows himself a true disciple of Christ by carrying the cross in his turn every day in the activity that he is called upon to perform.77
(From Laborem Exercens, Preface and no. 27.3)
Prayer from Large Print Catholic Prayer Book
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Prayer for Life
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies not allowed to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women who are
victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.
(Evangelium Vitae, No. 105.4)
Catholic Family Prayer Book, edited by Jacquelyn Lindsey
0-87973-999-1, ID# 999, leather, $24.95