Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Year of Consecrated Life Prayer Service



“How would they have us live this Advent?...   This is the time for generous promising.”                 Fr. Thomas A. Judge p. 5 MCM

LEADER:  This Advent as we begin a year dedicated to Consecrated Life we offer prayerful thanks for the call we received to the Missionary Cenacle Family.  We ask God to help us to continue to grow in our vocation.
OPENING HYMN: Wake the World with Dawning Joy (Steven Warner)+ (see note at end)

1.      Wake the world with dawning Joy!  Wake it with your gladness! Work for Justice, live in peace, Claim the Word Courageous!  Let us sing to God this new day, see the world in a different way.   Let us wake the world, wake the world, with abiding words of faith.
2.      Though the world is locked in sleep,  Let us rise rejoicing!   One in Christ his light to keep,           Called to human kindness.  Let us sing to God this new day, walk the world in a holy way,          Let us wake the world, wake the world  with uplifting words of hope.
3.      Love the world with different eyes.  God’s own love incarnate! Leaving all to follow Christ:  Sweet and endless mercy!  Let us sing to God this new day, reach the world in miraculous ways,  Let us wake the world, wake the world, with prophetic words of love.
4.      Thunder now God’s song of praise, wake to harp and dancing.  Song to lift us all our days.  Song of love and triumph!  For the Bridegroom now awaits us, in the faces of all we meet.    Now awake the world! Wake the world with unending words of joy.                                                                  (Text of Hymn is based on Pope Francis’ words to Consecrated Religious of the World.)
OPENING PRAYERO God, your promise to come in glory will be a reality when our hearts are one, our hands extend to one another in peace and our earth is renewed. Be with us in this Advent moment as we come together to celebrate this season of waiting. We ask this in the name of Jesus who draws near, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
ANTIPHON:       By our lives,  we seek first to glorify the Triune God. 
I will bless the Lord at all times;
    God’s praise shall be always in my mouth.
 My soul will glory in the Lord;
    let the poor hear and be glad.
 Magnify the Lord with me;
    and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
    delivered me from all my fears.
 Look to him and be radiant,
    and your faces may not blush for shame.
This poor one cried out and the Lord heard,
    and from all his distress he saved him.
 The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and he saves them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him.
 Fear the Lord, you his holy ones;
    nothing is lacking to those who fear him.
The rich grow poor and go hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.                                                                                         
Come, children,  listen to me;
    I will teach you fear of the Lord.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted,
    saves those whose spirit is crushed.
 Many are the troubles of the righteous,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all.
The Lord is the redeemer of the souls of his servants;
    and none are condemned who take refuge in him.
Glory to the  Father……
    Antiphon:       By our lives,  we seek first to glorify the Triune God. 
PRAYER:  O God,  may the news of the dawn of your coming pierce our hearts.  Open our hearts to prepare for the coming of Christ. Guide us in your ways of compassion so that we may extend your love and mercy to all people.

(The following readings may be read in silence or in common, as you chose.  The readings are from Scripture, our Rule of Life, Missionary Cenacle Meditations, and various documents on Religious Life, which can be found on the Vatican website.  See the references below.)

1 THES 4:1  “we urge you and appeal to you in the Lord Jesus to make more and more progress in the kind of life that you are meant to live: the life that God wants…”
REJOICE: …..Consecrated life is a call to incarnate the Good News, to follow Christ, the crucified and risen one, to take on “Jesus’s way of living and acting as the Incarnate Word in relation to the Father and in relation to the brothers and sisters”.(23) In practical terms, it is a call to take up his way of life, to adopt his interior attitude, to allow oneself to be invaded by his Spirit, to absorb his surprising logic and his scale of values, to share in his risks and his hopes. “Be guided by the humble yet joyful certainty of those who have been found, touched and transformed by the Truth who is Christ, ever to be proclaimed”.  Paragraph 5  Rejoice: Circular Letter to Consecrated Men and Women: a Message from the Teachings of Pope Francis
CONSECRATED LIFE VITA CONSECRATA… In every age there have been men and women who, obedient to the Father's call and to the prompting of the Spirit, have chosen this special way of following Christ, in order to devote themselves to him with an "undivided" heart (cf. 1 Cor 7:34). Like the Apostles, they too have left everything behind in order to be with Christ and to put themselves, as he did, at the service of God and their brothers and sisters. In this way, through the many charisms of spiritual and apostolic life bestowed on them by the Holy Spirit, they have helped to make the mystery and mission of the Church shine forth, and in doing so have contributed to the renewal of society. Paragraph 1 POST-SYNODAL  APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION  VITA CONSECRATA (1996)

STARTING AFRESH FROM CHRIST: . The call to follow Christ with a special consecration is a gift of the Trinity for God’s Chosen People. Paragraph 8 …….In imitation of Jesus, those whom God calls to follow him are consecrated and invited to continue his mission in the world. Indeed, consecrated life itself, guided by the action of the Holy Spirit, becomes a mission. The more consecrated persons allow themselves to be conformed to Christ, the more Christ is made present and active in history for the salvation of all.32    ( Paragraph 9) STARTING AFRESH FROM CHRIST:A RENEWED COMMITMENT TO CONSECRATED LIFE IN THE THIRD MILLENNIUM (2002)

            MSBT RULE of LIFE 3.  By our lives as Missionary Servants we seek first to glorify the Triune God. 
We follow in the footsteps of the apostles who, filled with the Holy Spirit, went forth from
the Cenacle to spread everywhere the knowledge and love of Jesus.  We live and work that
God's name may be hallowed, that his kingdom come, that his holy will be done
(Mt 6:9-10).

READING: “We have heard all through the Advent season that the valleys shall be filled and the mountains and hills shall be brought low and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough ways plain. What is there in us to tear down? What is there to fill up? What crooked thing is to be made straight? What rough thing to be made plain?”  Fr. Thomas A. Judge, S.M. MCM p/ 25

What attracted or inspired me in these readings?  What challenged me? What is my response to Father Judge’s questions?  What is there in us to tear down? What is there to fill up?, What crooked thing is to be made straight? What rough thing to be made plain? What is God calling me to in my Vocation as a Consecrated person during this coming year?

FAITH SHARING, if possible.
HYMN:  LET THE VALLEYS BE RAISED by Dan Schutte (or hymn of your choosing)
READING: Is 40:1-5, 9-11
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.
 Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
 that her service has ended, that her guilt is expiated,
That she has received from the hand of the Lord  double for all her sins.
A voice proclaims: In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be lifted up,
every mountain and hill made low;
The rugged land shall be a plain, the rough country, a broad valley.                                                        Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Go up onto a high mountain,   Zion, herald of good news![
Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Cry out, do not fear! Say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God!
 Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm;
Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him.
 Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs,
Carrying them in his bosom, leading the ewes with care.

Response:  Bringing God’s embrace (Rejoice, Circular Letter to Consecrated Men and Women Paragraph 8)
1.      “People today certainly need words, but most of all they need us to bear witness to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord which warms the heart, rekindles hope, and attracts people towards the good. What a joy it is to bring God’s consolation to others!”(45)

2.     Pope Francis entrusts this mission to consecrated men and women: to discover the Lord who comforts us like a mother, and to comfort the people of God.

1.     “Service in the Church arises out of the joy of meeting the Lord and from his call. This mission is to bring to the men and women of our time the consolation of God, to bear witness to his mercy”.

2.     “In Jesus’s view, consolation is a gift of the Spirit, the Paraclete, the Consoler who comforts us in our trials and awakes a hope that does not disappoint. ”
1.     Thus Christian consolation becomes comfort, encouragement, hope. It is the active presence of the Spirit (cf. Jn 14:16-17), the fruit of the Spirit. And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22).

2.     “In a world of distrust, discouragement and depression, in a culture in which men and women are enveloped by fragility and weakness, individualism and self-interest, we are asked to introduce belief in the possibility of true happiness, in the feasibility of hope that does not depend solely on talent, superiority or knowledge, but on God.”      
1.   “All are given the possibility of encountering him, if they only seek him with sincere heart. The men and women of our time are waiting for words of consolation, the availability of forgiveness and true joy.”
2.  “We are called to bring to everyone the embrace of God, who bends with a mother’s tenderness over us – consecrated women and men, signs of the fullness of humanity, facilitators and not controllers of grace, stooped down in a gesture of consolation.”
(CONGREGATION FOR INSTITUTES OF CONSECRATED LIFE  AND SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE, YEAR OF CONSECRATED LIFE REJOICE! A letter to consecrated men and women A message from the teachings of Pope Francis ) (Paragraph 8)

LEADER:  O Lord, as you draw near to us, we present our prayers to you who always hear us.
May the Advent season inspire us to prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Christ, let us pray to the Lord.

May the season of Advent be an occasion for a growing solidarity in our families, in our parishes, and in our communities, let us pray to the Lord.

May the message of Advent, that God’s grace is at work in the world, move us to be reflect God’s love in the activities of our everyday lives, let us pray to the Lord.
May our expectation of the coming of the Son who called us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the lonely strengthen our will to actively bring comfort and seek justice to those who are in need, let us pray to the Lord.
May those who are consecrated to God by the vows of chastity,  poverty and obedience, always reveal the love of Christ to those they encounter and continue to enrich our world by their dedicated lives of prayer and service. . Let us pray to the Lord..
May all those who are discerning their vocation in life, particularly those whom the Lord is calling to consecrated life be given the wisdom to hear God's call and the courage to respond generously. Let us pray to the Lord. 
May the dominant note ringing through the Cenacle, Inner and Outer, throughout the Advent season, be to please God in shadow as well as in sunshine, in irksome duty as well as in the hour of consolation. Let us cause charity to reign supreme and engender a great love of God and a greater spirit of forbearance with our neighbor. Go on! Go higher! Let us  pray to the Lord

CLOSING PRAYER:  Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life
 O God, throughout the ages you have called women and men to pursue lives of perfect charity through the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.  During this Year of Consecrated Life, we give you thanks for these courageous witnesses of faith and models of inspiration.  Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to you.  Continue to enrich your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who, having found the pearl of great price, treasure the Kingdom of Heaven above all things.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.                                                             (USCCB)
CLOSING HYMN:  CHRIST BE OUR LIGHT (FARRELL) or a Hymn of your choosing.
Hymn Suggestions:  (chose from these or others)
Christ, Be our Light (Farrell)                                                                                                        
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (VENI, VENI, EMMANUEL)    
The Coming of Our God (OPTATUS VOTIS OMNIUM)                                                                          
+Wake the World with Dawning Joy (Warner)
 We Long for you O Lord
+Wake the World with Dawning Joy (for sheet music and audio)       (based on the words of Pope Francis to the Consecrated Religious of the world….Commissioned by the National Religious Vocation Conference and Vision Vocation Guide in honor of the year for Consecrated Life)

Websites for Documents on Consecrated Life on Vatican Website

Rejoice: Circular Letter to Consecrated Men and Women: a Message from the Teachings of Pope Francis

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