To me, the beginning of intercessory prayer in the church…

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They depict, from left to right, the Virgin Mary, Jesus, St. Peter, and St Cedd.

Gift:  Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.

Reading:  After he left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. 16 Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her.  (Luke 4:38)

Observation:  It is not that Jesus would not have healed Simon’s mother anyway, but I thought it was important that the Apostles specifically asked for her healing.  She may or may not have been aware of it, but she was healed by Jesus because of their intercession.  To me, this is a clear example of why intercessory prayer is so valuable in the Catholic Church.  We see in this example and also in the example of Mary asking Jesus to turn the water into wine at the wedding feast that the Saints that came before us have a clearer understanding of what moves our Lord to take action.  Nevermind the fact that I don’t feel worthy to ask the Lord for anything.

Personification:  Modesty – No longer needing to impress other people with our power or degrees or connections or wealth.  This fruit is important for me today because I feel like it is important for me to stay grounded in the things that are important.  Money and wealth are a means to serve others, not a means to feel important. 

Prayer:  Hail Mary, full of grace.  The Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. 

Saint Peter, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. 

I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

(Saint Peter’s prayer was taken from the 1st letter of Saint Peter chapter 1: verses 3-5)

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