NOVENA TO ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE
Antiphon: O St. Paul the Apostle, preacher of truth and doctor of the gentiles, intercede for us to God.
- After that, Saul began to harass the Church. He entered house after house, dragged men and women out and threw them into jail. (Acts 8:3) Antiphon
- “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Sir?” he asked. The voice answered, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:4-5) Antiphon
- For he who worked through Peter as his apostle among the Jews had been at work in me for the gentiles, and they recognized the favor bestowed on me. (Gal. 2:8-9) Antiphon
- With my many more labors and imprisonments, with far worse beatings and frequent brushes with death. (2 Cor. 11:23) Antiphon
- And so I willingly boast of my weaknesses instead, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9) Antiphon
- But by God’s favor I am what I am. This favor of his to me has not proved fruitless. (1 Cor. 15:10) Antiphon
- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on a merited crown awaits me; on that day the Lord, just judge that he is will award it to me. (2 Tim. 4:7-9) Antiphon
READING - Day 7
Listening is never easy. Many times it is easier to play deaf. Listening means paying attention, wanting to understand, to value, to respect and to ponder what the other person says. It involves a sort of martyrdom or self-sacrifice, as we try to imitate Moses before the burning bush: we have to remove our sandals when standing on the “holy ground” of our encounter with the one who speaks to me (cf. Ex 3:5). Knowing how to listen is an immense grace, it is a gift which we need to ask for and then make every effort to practice.
Emails, text messages, social networks and chats can also be fully human forms of communication. It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal. Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division between individuals and groups. The digital world is a public square, a meeting-place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks. I pray that this Jubilee Year, lived in mercy, “may open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; and that it may eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination” (Misericordiae Vultus, 23). The internet can help us to be better citizens. Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbor whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected. The internet can be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing. -Pope Francis, 2016 World Communications Day Message
THE PAULINE OFFERTORY (adapted from Blessed James Alberione)
Father, in union with all those celebrating the Eucharist throughout the world, I wish to unite myself with the heart and intentions of your beloved Son, Jesus, who offered his life for our salvation:
— that the media may always be used to support the good of each person and the common good; to uplift the sacred dignity of every human person, especially those who are poor and most vulnerable; to nurture marriage and family life; to bring about solidarity, peace, greater justice, and equality for all people; and to build respect for the gifts of God’s creation;
— in reparation for the errors and scandals spread throughout the world through the misuse of the media;
— to call down your mercy upon those who have been deceived or manipulated by the misuse of the media, and led away from your fatherly love;
— for the conversion of those who have spread error, violence, or a disregard for the dignity of the person by wrongly using the media and rejecting the teaching of Christ and his Church;
— that we may follow Christ alone whom you, Father, in your boundless love, sent into the world, saying, “This is my beloved Son, hear him”;
— to acknowledge and to make known that Jesus alone, the Word Incarnate, is the perfect Teacher, the trustworthy Way who leads to knowledge of you, Father, and to a participation in your very life;
— that in the Church the number of priests, religious, and lay people who are dedicated as apostles of the media will increase in number and grow in holiness, making resound throughout the world the message of salvation;
— that all those who work in the media with good will (writers, artists, directors, editors, technicians, producers, advertisers, and distributors) may grow in wisdom and uprightness, living and spreading worthy human and Christian values;
— that the undertakings of Catholics in all forms of media may continually increase, so that by more effectively promoting genuine human and Christian values, they will silence the voices that spread error and evil;
— that well aware of our inadequacy and unworthiness, we may recognize our need to draw near the font of life with great humility and trust and be nourished with your Word, Father, and with the Body of Christ, invoking light, love, and mercy for all men and women.
Our Father and Apostle, St. Paul, you are preacher of truth and doctor of the gentiles. Intercede for us to God, who chose you.
You appointed Paul your apostle
to preach the good news of salvation.
Fill the entire world with the faith he carried
to so many peoples and nations.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.