15 June 2010

Pope Calls for "Offering Up" Prayers and Penances for Reparation

In his Letter to the Catholics in Ireland from March 19th, Pope Benedict called on Catholics to offer up prayers and penances, and Eucharistic Adoration to "make reparation for the sins of abuse that have done so much harm".  While that letter was addressed to Irish Catholics, his call for prayer and penance is certainly commendable for all Catholics, here is a portion of his letter,
I now invite all of you to devote your Friday penances,[a good reminder that we are still required to perform acts of penance on Friday even though the traditional practice of abstaining from meat is no longer an obligation] for a period of one year, between now and Easter 2011, to this intention.  I ask you to offer up your fasting, your prayer, your reading of Scripture and your works of mercy in order to obtain the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland.  [Or other country] I encourage you to discover anew the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to avail yourselves more frequently of the transforming power of its grace.

Particular attention should also be given to Eucharistic adoration, and in every diocese there should be churches or chapels specifically devoted to this purpose.  I ask parishes, seminaries, religious houses, and monasteries to organize periods of Euchraristic adoration, so that all have an opportunity to take part.  Through intense prayer before the Real Presence of the Lord, you can make reparation for the sins of abuse that have done so much harm, at the same time imploring the grace of renewed strength and a deeper sense of mission on the part of all bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.
The full letter is available at the Vatican website.

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