REFLECTIONS ON THE POPE'S MONTHLY INTENTIONS
Editor's Note: Apostleship of Prayer receives monthly prayer intentions from the pope and urges Christians throughout the world to unite in prayer for those intentions. The reflections below seek to illuminate the Holy Father's concerns.
Click here for a printer-friendly PDF version of this month's reflections.
You will need Adobe Reader to view.
If you don't have Adobe Reader on your computer, you can download it here.
General Intention - Administrators of Justice
That administrators of justice may act always with integrity
and right conscience.
Judges play an essential role in civilized societies. Judges interpret the law in difficult cases, punish offenders, and give relief to those harmed unjustly. The world needs judges of integrity and well-formed conscience who cannot be swayed by money or power.
Pope Benedict taught that a judge should sentence a criminal with the main purpose of re-educating and reforming him. He said, “It is not enough that those found guilty of crimes be simply punished: it is necessary that in punishing them, everything possible be done to correct and improve them. When this does not happen, justice is not done in an integral sense.”
The former Pope commented that rehabilitation is in society’s interest as well as the prisoner’s. “The prisoner’s personal need to undergo in prison a process of rehabilitation and maturation is actually a need of society itself, both because it stands to regain someone who can make a useful contribution to the common good, and also because such a process makes the prisoner less likely to reoffend and thus endanger society.”
Former Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske knows that not only is the rehabilitation of the criminal important but also the reparation of the broken relationship. She works around the world promoting “restorative justice,” which seeks to involve the offenders in repairing the damage they have done to victims and communities.
Both rehabilitation and reparation are necessary in the administration of justice. We pray with the Pope that judges and prison officials may always look upon the people in front of them with “respect for human dignity and human rights,” seeing them as made in God’s image and redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus.
What do you think are the most important qualities of a good judge?
Deuteronomy 16:18-20 Justice and justice alone shall be your aim.
Mission Intention - Seminaries
That seminaries, especially those of mission churches, may form pastors after the Heart of Christ,
fully dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel.
Whenever he spoke to seminarians, Pope Benedict emphasized prayer. He wrote: “It is so important, dear friends, that you learn to live in constant intimacy with God. When the Lord tells us to ‘pray constantly,’ he is obviously not asking us to recite endless prayers, but urging us never to lose our inner closeness to God. Praying means growing in this intimacy.”
Pope Benedict went on to recommend the very prayer life promoted by the Apostleship of Prayer. “So it is important that our day should begin and end with prayer; that we listen to God as the Scriptures are read; that we share with him our desires and our hopes, our joys and our troubles, our failures and our thanks for all his blessings, and thus keep him ever before us as the point of reference for our lives.”
Through intimacy with Jesus throughout the day, our hearts are made like the Heart of Jesus. At World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Pope Benedict said: “To be modeled on Christ, dear seminarians, is to be identified ever more closely with him who, for our sake, became servant, priest, and victim. …Learn from him who described himself as meek and humble of heart, leaving behind all earthly desire for his sake so that, rather than pursuing your own good, you build up your brothers and sisters by the way you live.”
Let us pray as Pope Benedict urged the seminarians in Madrid: “Moved by his example, look above all to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests. She will know how to mold your hearts according to the model of Christ, her divine Son, and she will teach you how to treasure forever all that he gained on Calvary for the salvation of the world. Amen.”
If you had a chance to meet with seminarians, what would you to say to them? What would you want them to know about priesthood?
Jeremiah 3:15 I will appoint over you shepherds after my own heart.
Prayer of the Month
Almighty God, who sits on your throne
judging rightly: we humbly beseech you
to bless the courts of justice and the judges
and magistrates in all lands; and give them
the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that
they may discern the truth, and impartially
administer the law in the fear of you alone;
through him who shall come to be our judge,
your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Links for May, 2013 General Intention
Links for May, 2013 Mission Intention
To register as a member of the Apostleship of Prayer, to subscribe to leaflets, or to order additional leaflets for distribution to others, please contact us. Thank you for your generous support of our ministry.
APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER
1501 S. Layton Blvd
Milwaukee, WI 53215-1924
Copyright, 2013: Apostleship of Prayer