Pictured right: Pope Francis presides over an ecumenical prayer service at the Malmo Arena in Sweden on Oct. 31
Virginia Centurione, born into a noble family in Genoa, Italy, in 1587, was forced into marriage at a young age, despite her wish to live a religious life. She had two daughters, Leila and Isabella. But her husband died when she was just 20 years old, which allowed her to devote her life to abandoned children and the needs of the elderly, the sick and the poor. Because of war in the region in 1624-25, many in her city were orphaned, hungry and unable to find work. St. Virginia was canonized in 2003 by St.
I give you a new commandment: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you ahve love for one another - Jn 13: 34-35
First of all, don’t worry about what words to use when you begin to pray for someone who has been away from the Lord – from the Church – for a long time. Just talk to God about the situation as you would to a good friend. In your own words, tell God your fear, your concern, perhaps your sense of hopelessness/discouragement.
These are two very good questions which require a clear answer, especially in the times in which we live. Noise surrounds us these days – more than ever before. Between keeping up with our jobs, schoolwork, social media and the daily news – not to mention spending quality time with family and friends each day, we are squeezed for time. We struggle to keep up.
But if we are going to make a real effort to keep God in our daily lives, we have to shut out the noise, at least for a few minutes here and there. Once we have made that commitment, we need to pray for greater faith:
What a great question – it can be such a difficult thing to invite someone into practicing the faith without coming across as self-righteous or as somehow a bit “off.” A big part of the process of bringing someone back is to start with the recognition of a couple of points.
First, remember that what you are desiring is holy; it’s good. Sometimes, what we desire isn’t so good, isn’t so holy. You have in your heart a hunger to bring someone back into a communal practice of the faith and that is a blessing. You desire something good.