Advent 2023 Prayer Companion COVER

Advent 2023 Prayer Companion

This liturgical year, the Church is calling us to a special time of prayerful preparation for the Year of Jubilee in 2025. Throughout the 2024 liturgical year, Pope Francis has asked us to prepare for the Jubilee in prayer with a special focus on the Our Father, and reflect on what it means to be “Pilgrims of Hope” in this world. Our Holy Father, has nominated monthly prayer intentions for 2024, which we have included at the back of this prayer companion.

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This liturgical year, the Church is calling us to a special time of prayerful preparation for the Year of Jubilee in 2025. Throughout the 2024 liturgical year, Pope Francis has asked us to prepare for the Jubilee in prayer with a special focus on the Our Father, and reflect on what it means to be “Pilgrims of Hope” in this world. Our Holy Father, has nominated monthly prayer intentions for 2024, which we have included at the back of this prayer companion.

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“We do not preach only one coming of Christ, but a second as well, much more glorious than the first. The first coming was marked by patience; the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.”
St Cyril of Jerusalem

Advent is fast approaching! This A5 journal features scripture Readings of the day, practical prayer and devotional information, meditations from saints and holy people, spaces to write and draw, and daily guided reflections.

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This document aims to address the most commonly-raised concerns that we’ve received questions about from the local Catholic community.

Read more: Novavax Interactive Factsheet

It’s not too late to start your spiritual preparation with our Lenten Reflection Calendar. This calendar features Gospel readings of the day, and weekly formation reflection pieces on different traditions practiced throughout Lent!

“By the help of the merciful Lord our God, the temptations of the world, the snares of the Devil, the suffering of the world, the enticement of the flesh, the surging waves of troubled times, and all corporal and spiritual adversities are to be overcome by almsgiving, fasting, and prayer.”

(Saint Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 207)

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This year, the Church is calling us to a new appreciation of St Joseph as a model and inspiration for home and family life. It’s an opportunity for all of us to explore how we can more personally embrace some of the faithful qualities of St Joseph.

Read more here: Year of St Joseph

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in their National Social Justice Statement for 2020, draw attention to mental health in Australia. Below are some ways you can help support a healthy mind:

EXERCISE MORE
Exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing, especially if you’re feeling down. However, just one hour per week can help protect against depression.

Read more here: 5 Strategies for Better Mental Health

Families can be challenging at the best of times. It doesn’t take much, let alone a global pandemic, to upset what can be a delicate balance of relationships. Many families have found problems like isolation, social distancing, job changes, or job loss a difficult burden straining family relationships. Our homes can feel far from the prayer of Christ, “I pray for those who believe in me that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you” (John 17:20-21).

Read more here: From the Desk of CLMF

Grief is normal. The pain that comes with losing someone we love is normal. It is a process that is likely to take you through a range of difficult emotions. It can hurt a lot. There is no time limit on grieving. It’s okay to feel sad and alone on days that hold painful memories and meaning. It can be helpful to let yourself feel your grief and express your emotions.

Read more here: Working Through Grief & Loss

Over 360 times in scripture God reminds His people, “Be not afraid,” and “I am with you always.” In speaking of hope, our Catholic Catechism tells us, “Christian hope unfolds from the beginning of Jesus’ preaching in the proclamation of the beatitudes.” The beatitudes speak of challenges many of us may be able to relate to at this time. However, as the Catechism reminds us, “the  beatitudes raise our hope toward heaven… We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere.” A phenomenon like the CoViD-19 global pandemic raises many difficult feelings. Often, it’s not just one feeling but many mixed in together. These feelings can challenge our relationship with God and raise many questions.

Read more here: Managing Anxiety in Times of Stress

The recent closure of our parishes, with COVID-19 restrictions, has left many people feeling uncertain and disoriented. Attending Mass on Sunday is a major part of life for so many; not being able to go has been challenging. In a way, it highlights for us the special significance of Sunday in the Christian life. It is easy to become complacent about Sunday, to reduce our obligation to “keep the Lord’s Day holy,” to simply attending Mass, rather than setting aside the whole day.

Read more here: From the Desk of CLMF