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Spirituality
Pope's August Prayer Intention Print E-mail
Prayers
In 2018, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two.
Pope's August Prayer Intention

Universal: The treasure of families
That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one
of the treasures of humanity.

 
Jesus is food for eternal life Print E-mail
Sunday scripture column

Jem Sullivan


Sunday, August 12
Nineteenth Sunday
in Ordinary Time

1 Kgs 19:4-8
Psalm 34:2-9
Eph 4:30-5:2
Jn 6:41-51



From time to time we read or hear amazing wilderness survival stories. People who find themselves lost in the wilderness are forced to survive without food and water, sometimes for days or weeks, before they are rescued.

Survivor stories usually include the many creative and sometimes frantic ways the lost people managed to find sources of water and food. These accounts capture our imaginations as they remind us of our dependence on the forces of nature, and our primal need for water and food.

"I am the bread that came down from heaven," says Jesus in this Gospel. "I am the bread of life." We are told that that Jesus' disciples found his words difficult to understand and accept. Today we too may find Jesus' words difficult to grasp.

We think of food at least three times a day. But do we stop to reflect on our spiritual hungers, the deep hunger of our heart and will? Do we seek after spiritual food to satisfy our longing for communion with God and with one another?

Our readings invite us to make the psalmist's prayer our own. Jesus doesn't point to sources of spiritual food; he himself is the bread of life. Jesus is the spiritual food of God's love for each one of us.

In this divine food, we find our nourishment and strength for the journey of faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that God alone satisfies our needs.

This is a bold claim. There is nothing in this created world that can ultimately satisfy our deepest hungers, longings, and desires. Only God can.

As such, Jesus offers himself freely to us in his sacred body and blood. His spiritual food is free of cost with no strings attached.


Jem Sullivan is secretary for Catholic education of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

 
Daily Scripture Readings Print E-mail
Readings
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
 
Holy Days of Obligation Print E-mail

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2018.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Monday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Sunday, May 13
Ascension Thursday
Wednesday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Thursday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Saturday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Tuesday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
 
Prayer to St. Raphael Print E-mail

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.

Amen.

 
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