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Six things to pray for in 2013

Ireland, marriage, Parliament, Pope Benedict XVI and atheists all need our prayers in 2013, says Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith.

By on Thursday, 3 January 2013

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful as he leaves after celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on New Year's Day. (Photo: PA)

Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful as he leaves after celebrating Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, on New Year's Day. (Photo: PA)

This is the period when newspapers publish their round-ups of important events of the year that had passed, and their predictions for the year that is to come. Rather than try something similar, I thought I would recommend things to pray for or about in 2013, which involves some degree of prediction. So here it goes: six things to keep in mind before the Lord in the year of our Lord 2013.

1. The Pro-life cause in Ireland. There is almost certain to be a brutal fight ahead in Ireland in the coming year over abortion. This matters perhaps more than anything else that the Church will face in 2013. The pro-lifers in Ireland will need our prayers, and because of Ireland’s proximity to the UK, and its close ties to this country (and of course America), the outcome of the battle will have a huge impact on us here.

2. Marriage; please note, marriage, not ‘same sex marriage’. Marriage is becoming less and less popular year in, year out, and 2013 is not likely to be any different. We need to pray for engaged couples, and for all those who are living together, with or without children, so that they may discover their vocation to marriage, if indeed God is calling them to it. And we need to pray for adolescents so that they may have marriage as their goal, rather than an aimless emotional life ahead of them.

3. Parliament. This once great institution seems less and less relevant to our lives each year that passes. Few watch the debates on television; the newspapers barely report them. Most important decisions are made, not in Parliament, but on some sofa somewhere in Downing Street. Our legislators need to take back their rightful place in the British constitution, and fast.

4. The Pope. As Catholics, we all love the Holy Father; it is shocking and distressing to see him subjected to abuse in the newspapers, and online. I doubt the Pope reads the infantile and ignorant comments that follow any article on Catholicism on the Guardian’s website, or reads anything by Johan Hari, George Monbiot or Oliver Kamm and other anti-Catholics, but though these things cannot upset him, they sure do upset us. So, let us pray for the Pope, that God may surround him with comfort; and in so doing, let us renew and redouble our love and loyalty for the Throne of Peter.

5. Atheists, not just Richard Dawkins, all of them. May the God who they do not believe in, be good to them in 2013! It is sad that Richard Dawkins believes that a Catholic education is on a level with child abuse; it is sad that he believes that millions of people, including myself, have been subject to such abuse, and without realising it too. We must pray that these atheists get used to the idea that the Catholic Church exists in this country and elsewhere, not as a thing that is tolerated, but by right, and that we are not going away, and that we are proud of our faith. And on that basis we are prepared to enter into dialogue with anyone. But it has to be rational dialogue: so let us pray for the restoration of a shared rationality.

6. And finally: peace and justice in the world; but once more, to have both, we first of all have to have a restoration of rationality. Peace won’t be attained in Syria by the British government supporting Jihadist rebels; and justice won’t be done, in the Jimmy Savile case, for example, unless there is an abandonment of overheated rhetoric. We need to look at things as they are and put aside our anger. This calls for humility all round. So perhaps that might be the best prayer of all for 2013, and for every year. O God, makes us humble, and make us remember that we are weak human beings, who do not know it all!

  • ConfusedofChi

    ..may I add a 7th.?
    Don’t forget our loyal priests and religious.
    Blessings to all.

  • Just Sayin’

    7.  The legalisation of drugs so that we’re all free to self-stupefy.  You forgot that one, though I know you were thinking it.

  • Erin Pascal

    Thanks for sharing this post. I think it sums up most of the problems that our world is facing today. Prayers are very powerful and you will be amazed of what a prayer can do. Let us communicate with God more often, thank Him, and ask for proper guidance–there is no other way to do that but through prayers. Let us wish for a better year. I have faith and I believe that He will hear us. :)

  • Danny

    7. a seventh prayer… That we remember the SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL. No one has the right to suppress a Council, and that includes any Pope or Bishop.  To do so puts one in schism.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith.

    An end to the war on drugs, which is killing thousands of innocents in Mexico, would indeed be welcome.

  • Kevin

    Number 5 seems like a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease.

    How about a prayer for Hindus? (And of course our brothers persecuted overseas.)

  • maxmarley

    The abuse of the Pope is shared by strange bedfellows.
    The call to kick the pope has had a long and much cherished tradition in parts of ulster and Scotland.
    To many Protestants he is the Antichrist.
    The Pope’s reasonable address at Regensberg made him public enemy number one with many of the adherents of the “religion of peace” in many parts of the globe.
    Stalin was curious about how many divisions the Pope had.
    To this day Stalin’s useful idiots and fellow atheists despise all that the Pope stands for.
    And not forgetting the new age Obama style Catholics who reject traditional magisterium teaching.
    I hope his holiness has a thick skin or avoids certain newspapers in 2013.
    The abuse he gets today is what is in store for faithful Christian believers tomorrow.

  • Just Sayin’

    Which “war on drugs” is that?  The one in your imagination?  Maybe people should stop self-stupefying and self-criminalising, did that ever occur to you?  Guess not.

  • Just Sayin’

    “The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense.” – Catholic Catechism.
    Looks like someone needs to get with the Catechism.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith.

    That quote from the catechism has nothing to do with the legaisation of drugs.

  • Alexander Lucie-Smith.

    Go to Mexico and ask.

  • aearon43

    Why shouldn’t we then also ban alcohol? It’s arguably a lot more harmful a drug than marijuana. We tried it in America, and it led to take-overs of entire cities by organized crime, just as is now happening in Central America.

  • OldMeena

    Some people in the Church have described Benedict as “a schismatic pope”.

  • Patrickhowes

    Oh yes it does!

  • Patrickhowes

    Naive Fr Alex!Drugs have been ruining and destroying peoples lives for decades whether it be in legalised Holland nor banned substance Britain

  • OldMeena

    It would only do so if you choose to assume that the legalisation of these drugs would increase their non-therapeutic use.

    It is as certain as anything can be in this world that the opposite would be the case.

  • OldMeena

    I think you are probably a believer in Christianity and an orthodox Catholic.

    I have read that in former years some Catholics enjoyed the idea of being able to look down from Heaven into the fiery pit of Hell at the non-believers burning there.
    You seem unhappy at Father Alexander L-S’s suggestion as, presumably, it might steal some of your pleasure.

  • OldMeena

    “Blessings to all.”

    Yes. If there should turn out to be a God, “life” after death …etc, will He please “bless us, every one” (as Tiny Tim asked)?

  • Just Sayin’

    This part of the Catechism obviously has nothing to do with you, by your choice.  Sadly.

  • Just Sayin’

    You’re right, but sadly this priest is the contemporary equivalent of the “whisky priest.”  Lucie-Smith is the “cannabis priest.”  

  • Just Sayin’

    That’s an argument for banning alcohol, not legalising drugs.

  • Just Sayin’

    The Mexican drugs trade that the Pope condemned back in March?  The trade you want legalised?

  • Parasum

    Define “drugs” – there is a big difference between hash OTOH & (say) Mogadon on the other. Somehow I doubt the Mexican & other cartels have much interest in Mogadon. So what does the CCC mean  ?

    (Nice handle, BTW)

  • Just Sayin’

    If you don’t know what illegal drugs are, just take a look at contemporary British culture where they are freely available.  You have to literally endanger someone else’s life before the police will lift a finger to stop you from decades of self-stupefaction — see the singer and lifelong dopehead George Michael for details.  Or Pete Doherty who dropped a bag of HEROIN on the floor while leaving court and the police ignored it.

    According to the crazy world of Lucie-Smith this constitutes a “war on drugs”.

  • teigitur

    Your having a laugh Danny. Most of the council has been ignored. Like the retention of Latin in the liturgy. Its the mis-use of the Council that has been the problem over the years.

  • Lazarus

    Some people in the Church have described pink elephants as real. You can always find ‘some people’ to trot out any old nonsense.

  • Danny

    No my friend, I am not laughing, suppressing the Council is a very serious matter.  No Bishop has the authority to do so, just the opposite to promote and implement it; but that would mean the curia would loose the ‘Power’ its gained over the many years.  Jesus came to Love and teach, not to lord it over His people. 

  • aearon43

    Well, yes, but do you support banning alcohol, then? If so, are you prepared to live with powerful organized crime syndicates selling alcohol? If not, how is position consistent?

  • Just Sayin’

    Do you support banning it, since you brought up the topic?  I’m talking about Lucie-Smith wanting to legalise drug abuse.  Why do you want to switch the subject to alcohol? (actually I know why).

  • Stephen

    pray for “peace and justice in the world” in 2013

    Father, no offense, but you sound less like a catholic priest and more a like a contestant competing in a Miss America beauty pageant.  

    What about praying for:

    1. Holy Souls in Purgatory forgotten by almost all of today’s Catholics (especially the poor souls of your fellow priests, popes, bishops, nuns, religious still being purged in the flames & those most forgotten/abandoned)

    2. The 70% – 85% of baptized Catholics across western civilization who commit grave sin every week by failing to participate in Sunday Mass (all bound for the fires of Hell)

    3. The 80% – 95% of baptized Catholics across western civilization who no longer confess their sins/participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (all bound for the fires of Hell)

    4. The 100 million Christians that are persecuted (many are even prosecuted, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered) in 40+ nations around the globe (their #1 request is prayers on their behalf)

    5. The conversion of ALL sinners/ALL nations/ALL on earth yet to know God’s love as expressed in the Sacraments of the Church–especially those who have risen up to stamp Christianity from the face of the earth and those who commit the worst crimes of our day: atheism, blasphemy and desecration of God’s holy days. 

    6. That all members of humanity regain a sense of sin, a well-formed conscience, and a deep thirst for holiness and start immediate reparations for the sins of the world especially reparations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

    7. That souls of the lukewarm* be set aflame by the fire of God’s love with a fervent zeal for the glory of God and for the highest perfection–the lukewarm who “wound Jesus’ Sacred Heart most painfully and caused the soul of our Lord to suffer the most dreadful loathing in the garden of olives.”  

    At daily/Sunday Mass the prayer petitions seem to come less from the hearts of faithful Catholics and  more from CNN and BBC headlines.  Why is this?  Has the Church become completely secularized, taking its cues from the ungodly mainstream media?  This is a sad, tragic turn of events.

    *NOTE:  Today we are witnessing/participating in the rapid decline and fall of the Catholic Church and western civilization.  Lukewarm Catholics say and do nothing but casually walk with (and some even help lead) the herd into the abyss of eternal fire.

  • crystal4zc

    Father, would you please care to elaborate on this (your comments). The legislation of drugs (those that are illegal) is in support to make it legal for use. Thus, you’re condoning souls committing grave offenses and helping them toward eternal damnation.

  • nnaji

    May God be with us this year.Amen