January 4

Many seek to love God by different methods but there is none so short and so easy as to do everything for God’s love.

O God, Elizabeth Ann Seton served you as wife, mother, founder and community member. As we celebrate her feast day we pray for women called upon to act in numerous and sometimes conflicting roles. Give them the energy and support they need to fulfill their responsibilities. Let them experience you as the center of their hearts for whom alone they go forward or stay back. We ask this through her intercession. Amen.

Second Sunday of January

The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Holy Child, centuries ago your miraculous image drew the Filipino people to Christianity. May we who have been welcomed into the household of the faith experience your revelation in our daily lives. May we work together to bring the Good News of your saving love to all humankind. We ask this confident in your strengthening companionship. Amen.

January 15

There was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples, standing before the Lamb.

God of all peoples, in the Black Christ of Esquipulas you reveal yourself to the people of Central America. May we, all members of your body, grow in our respect for the rich cultures and traditions of our world. May all tribes and nations come to know one another as sisters and brothers, and may we know you as our God, who calls us to unity. We ask this through the power of your Spirit. Amen.

January 21

Agnes prayed to God: “I am coming to you whom I have loved, whom I have sought and always desired.”

Agnes accepted martyrdom, O God, rather than surrender her Christian beliefs. Inspired by her example, may we be strengthened in our determination to live our lives in harmony with the gospel. May nothing come between us and your love poured out in Jesus. We ask this in his name. Amen.

January 24

Go on joyfully and with your heart as open and widely trustful as possible; and if you cannot always be joyful, at least be brave and confident.

O God, we honor Francis de Sales as the patron of spiritual friendships. May we experience through his example the power for good flowing from the support we offer to one another. May we be generous in sharing your gift to us that we may come to know you in all your beauty and variety. We ask this through the intercession of Francis and Jane de Chantal, his friend and partner in ministry. Amen.

January 27

Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.

Saint Angela Merici founded the Ursuline community, O God, in order to instruct poor girls in the Christian life. We ask your blessing on those who follow the Ursuline way of life and on us as we seek equality for women in church and society. Through our efforts may all your people come to fullness of life. We ask this through Angela’s intercession. Amen.

January 28

Draw near to me, you who are uneducated and lodge in the house of instruction.

In Thomas Aquinas, O God, you have given us a great learner and teacher – one who pondered your mysteries and passed on his insights to others. Through his intercession we pray for theologians and for others who devote their lives to expanding our knowledge of you. Give them wisdom and perseverance as their faith seeks understanding. We ask this through your Holy Spirit. Amen.

January 28

Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.

Merciful God, Peter Nolasco devoted himself to the ransoming of slaves. In his spirit we pray for all your people who experience personal, social, or political bondage. Through our compassion support and advocacy may they have the help and courage to free themselves from whatever binds them. May they experience the liberty of living as children of God. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

January 31

Let the little children come to me and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.

Saint John Bosco served you, O God, by devoting his life to the education of the young. Through his intercession we pray for teachers and for all those who guide and influence children. May their efforts create a sustaining environment in which children may grow and explore the world of knowledge. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Teacher. Amen.