Today marks not only the beginning of a new month, but also Canada Day. It's a day of thanksgiving for all the many blessings we have in Canada, and to pray for the future of Canada, for government and civic leaders as well.
[singlepic id=36 w=320 float=right]It is also the Solemnity of Sacred Heart. Last year, the Solemnity marked the conclusion of the Year for Priests. In his homily
for the concluding Mass, the Pope tied the Sacred Heart to the priesthood:
We are celebrating the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in the liturgy we peer, as it were, into the heart of Jesus opened in death by the spear of the Roman soldier. Jesus’ heart was indeed opened for us and before us – and thus God’s own heart was opened. The liturgy interprets for us the language of Jesus’ heart, which tells us above all that God is the shepherd of mankind, and so it reveals to us Jesus’ priesthood, which is rooted deep within his heart; so too it shows us the perennial foundation and the effective criterion of all priestly ministry, which must always be anchored in the heart of Jesus and lived out from that starting-point.
Our country and our priests are certainly two intentions to keep in mind today, and this month.
The Pope's regular monthly intentions are also something to incorporate into our prayer life. This month focuses on AIDS victims and the work of women religious.
The Holy Father’s general prayer intention for July is:
That Christ may ease the physical and spiritual sufferings of those who are sick with AIDS, especially in the poorest countries.
His mission intention is:
That religious women in mission territories may be witnesses of the joy of the Gospel and living signs of the love of Christ.
For more on the Pope's intentions throughout the year, visit the Apostleship of Prayer
CNS Photo/Paul Haring