Bishop Loverde recommended five practices for all Catholics in our diocese for the Year of Faith. The intention is to invite us to draw together to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty. Now that the Year of Faith has ended, we are all called to join the New Evangelization. Several of these practices can carry over into the life of the New Evangelist.
1. Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is a powerful connection with our Lord. Here is a video about Eucharistic Adoration. Please consider participating in Holy Hours we may hold at our parish or become an Adorer in our Adoration Chapel. but you don’t have to have a regular hour to pray before our Lord. The Chapel is always open (except in times of inclement weather.) Make Eucharistic Adoration part of your prayer life.
2.Families and individuals are encouraged to pray a daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty in the nation. (Here is a refresher in how to pray the Rosary: click here.)
3.At Sunday and daily Masses, the Prayers of the Faithful will include specific intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life, and the preservation of religious liberty at all levels of government, both at home and abroad. Please consider adding these intentions to those for which you pray during Mass.
4. Penance and prayer make a particularly powerful combination. Jesus himself counseled his Apostles, “This kind (meaning the evil one or any real difficulty) can only come out (be resolved ) through prayer” and some translations add, “and fasting (or penance)” (Mark 9:29). Therefore, Bishop Loverde is asking for abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays encouraged for the intention of the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church.
5. The best witness we can offer the world is to live our Christian lives with joy. Joy starts with frequent reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) so that we are in a constant state of love. “An evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow.” Sourpusses have no confidence in Christ One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, “sourpusses”. Nobody can go off to battle unless he is fully convinced of victory beforehand. If we start without confidence, we have already lost half the battle and we bury our talents. While painfully aware of our own frailties, we have to march on without giving in.” Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel