Loving Father, I offer you all that I do this day; my thoughts, works, joys and sufferings. I pray that you will accept my heart this day, united with that of your Son. Like your Son may I show love and acceptance to all I meet. May all my trials be joined to those of Jesus in the Mass.
I pray also for the Pope's intentions this month:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.
Watching my eldest daughter, Annie, receive the sacrament of penance about a year ago, I was moved by the openhearted joy of the children, and the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the Church. I knew the other parents around me felt the same. Most of the parents present were in their thirties, and from a generation that had grown up with a Church enduring storms of controversy and apparently dwindling numbers. We are, perhaps, the first generation to grow up having our faith aggressively questioned, and yet, there we were, watching our sons and daughters take the next step on a journey that we hope will last them a lifetime. There are those who question us, who see Sunday mornings as a time for lazy breakfasts or a long lie-in instead of Mass. Nevertheless, with each passing Sunday we see our children engage more and more with the liturgy, and feel the authenticity and promise of it for their lives. As we left the Church after First Penance, I realised that the parents were as excited as their offspring, and I reflected that perhaps, in the end, it is children who are teaching us.
- Breige Lawn