Saturday, March 20, 2010

For Ireland: The Breastplate of Pope Benedict

" I bind unto myself today, the strong name of the Trinity
By invocation of the same, the Three in One, the One in Three"

Pope Benedict's letter to the Irish Church is already being picked over. I've had a bit of a pick myself. Already, some there are who think they could have done better. That self-assurance can only come of pride. The Holy Father's letter comes from no such thing. The best place to be at the moment is on our knees thanking God that he has given us such a man to be Pope in our times. But the thing that struck me most forcibly is the prayer that Benedict XVI added at the end of the letter and hopes the Irish will pray. I think they will , because it is a Trinitarian prayer. He knows what Saint Patrick gave to the Church in that regard. I should be astonished if the Irish themselves did not recognise the sensitivity of their Holy Father towards them and their history, in having chosen this form of prayer.

I record it here:

Prayer for the Church in Ireland

God of our fathers,
renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation,
the hope which promises forgiveness and interior renewal,
the charity which purifies and opens our hearts
to love you, and in you, each of our brothers and sisters.

Lord Jesus Christ,
may the Church in Ireland renew her age-old commitment
to the education of our young people in the way of truth and goodness, holiness and generous
service to society.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide,
inspire a new springtime of holiness and apostolic zeal
for the Church of Ireland.

May our sorrow and our tears,
our sincere effort to redress past wrongs,
and our firm purpose of amendment
bear an abundant harvest of grace
for the deepening of the faith
in our families, parishes, schools and communities,
for the spiritual progress of Irish society,
and the growth of charity, justice, joy and peace
within the whole human family.

To You, Triune God,
confident in the loving protection of Mary,
Queen of Ireland, our Mother,
and of Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and all the saints,
do we entrust ourselves, our children,
and the needs of the Church in Ireland.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The pastoral letter was beautifully written, from the heart and yet with sufficient firmness. Someone on the radio this morning noted that it didn't contain the usual preamble associated with apostolic letters - well, that's good! Clifford Longley actually praised it on "Sunday" Radio 4. The point about this letter is that Benedict stresses that it's only a beginning - now they themselves have much to do. We should indeed thank God for this holy Pope.