May 2021 Prayer Page by Susan Kelly
I am the vine, you are the branches
John 15: 5
The gospels this month are full of images to pray with. We start with two wonderful passages from John Ch. 15 before coming to the wondrous Cenacle feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit transforms the fearful apostles into fearless proclaimers of the Word. In 2013, Pope Francis said in his Pentecost homily:
“The Holy Spirit … impels us to open the doors and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel, to communicate the joy of faith, the encounter with Christ.
The image of Mary and the apostles in the Upper Room is a powerful image for our prayer. It calls us to ponder, like Mary, the events of our lives over the past year, and how God has been present to us, walking with us on the journey. It also calls us to wonder what God has in store for us next. How might we be impelled to open the doors and go forth, strengthened by the joy of the encounter with Christ? I invite you to spend some time this month with Mary, waiting in hope in the Upper Room.
Create a prayer space for yourself that is your place of waiting in hope with Mary, your Upper Room, Fill it with colours and pictures and music that express how you want to experience waiting in hope:
- Perhaps it’s a bright, joyful space, with pictures of those you love and reminders of the many blessings life has already brought you. It’s so much easier to be hopeful when we recall how God has already blessed us abundantly.
- Perhaps your space will be a place of calm and stillness, a place for listening and being open to whatever God has in store for you. Use images that make you feel at peace.
- Perhaps it will be a place of healing, where you can be comforted and gently nurtured with restful sounds, where you will hear God say to you, be at peace.
- Perhaps it will be a place for opening doors and finding a new challenge as you live Cenacle. Make this a space for listening. Perhaps fill it with images that challenge you and songs of encouragement.
- Thérèse Couderc had a deep devotion to Mary. What wise words does she have for you?
- Spend time praying with John Chapter 15 and reflect on the images it presents of our relationship with Jesus. What does it mean to be a branch of the vine? Am I prepared for being pruned, for growth and change? Notice the signs of change in nature this month.
- Don’t forget to include music in your prayer time. Music lifts our spirits and speaks to our heart, it can soothe, comfort, be a source of healing, tranquillity, hopefulness, joy, it can inspire us, teach us, and remind us of the abiding love of God. Use whatever type of music will inspire you! The internet is a great source
For encouragement, try Be not Afraid, (Catholic Artists from home); the Irish Blessing 2020; the UK Blessing; the Blessing Aotearoa New Zealand ;and How can I keep from singing NY (all on www.youtube.com ).