Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* John XXIII *


We stand before you, Holy Spirit, conscious of our sinfulness. Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our hearts. Give us light and strength to know your will, to make it our own, and to live it in our lives. Guide us by your wisdom, support us by your power, for you are God, sharing the glory of Father and Son. You desire justice for all: enable us to uphold the rights of others; do not allow us to be misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favour. Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true. You live and reign with the Father and the Son, One God, forever and ever. Amen.

( Opening prayer at the Second Vatican Council, 1962. Abbreviated )


Jesus, from whom all blessings flow, great builder of your church below,
if now your Spirit moves my breast, hear, and fulfil your own request!
The few that truly call you Lord, and wait your sanctifying word,
and you their utmost saviour own, unite, and perfect them in one.

O let them all your mind express, stand forth your chosen witnesses,
your power unto salvation show and perfect holiness below.
In them let humankind behold how Christians lived in days of old,
mighty their envious foes to move, a proverb of reproach and love.

From every sinful wrinkle free, redeemed from all iniquity,
the fellowship of saints make known and, O my God, might I be one!
O might my lot be cast with these, the least of Jesu’s witnesses.
O that my Lord would count me meet to wash his dear disciples’ feet.

This only thing do I require: you know it is all my heart’s desire,
freely what I receive to give, the servant of your church to live;
after my lowly Lord to go and wait upon your saints below;
enjoy the grace to angels given, and serve the royal heirs of Heaven.

Lord, if I now you drawings feel and ask according to your will,
confirm the prayer, the seal impart and speak the answer to my heart.

( Charles Wesley )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John XXIII: the “good” pope

When the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church gathered in conclave in October 1958, they had a hard time deciding who should follow the long rule of Pope Pius XII. After ten inconclusive ballots, they turned to Angelo Roncalli, a seventy-seven-year-old Venetian archbishop, to be a “stop-gap” pope. He was elected on the eleventh ballot.

He brought an easy style, humour and openness to the papacy. He was most often called “Good Pope John” by the people of his church, who appreciated his down to earth style. He shocked the world and the Church by calling together the Second Vatican Council, with the goal of “opening the windows of the church” to let in fresh air.

He died after the opening session of the council, on the third of June, 1963. He was canonised by Pope Francis on the twenty-seventh of April, 2014.

Less well known about Good Pope John was that prior to the Second World War, he had worked in the Vatican Diplomatic Corp. On the thirtieth of November, 1934, he was appointed Apostolic Delegate to Turkey and Greece. Roncalli used his office to help the Jewish underground in saving thousands of refugees in Europe, often procuring for them false “baptismal certificates.” He had a love for the Jewish people which helped set the tone for the Roman Catholic stance toward Judaism after Vatican II.

He once said, “We are conscious today that many, many centuries of blindness have cloaked our eyes so that we can no longer see the beauty of your chosen people nor recognise in their faces the features of our privileged brethren. We realise that the mark of Cain stands upon our foreheads. Across the centuries our brother Abel has lain in blood which we drew, or shed tears we caused by forgetting your love. Forgive us for the curse we falsely attached to their name as Jews. Forgive us for crucifying you a second time in their flesh. For we know not what we did.”

Scripture. In the thirteenth chapter of John’s gospel, verses fourteen to seventeen, we read:

If I, your lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that the leaders of the churches may fully understand, accept and live out their role as servants.

... for an end to antisemitism.

... for children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. DETAILS

... for the people of Tonga who celebrate their national day today.

... for the people who live in the shadow of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala; for those who were killed in its recent eruption, for those who mourn the death of loved ones and all who have lost their homes to the volcano. DETAILS

... for the migrants who died after their boat capsized off the eastern coast of Tunisia. DETAILS

... for the villagers killed by cattle thieves in Nigeria's northern state of Zamfara. DETAILS

... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


From the 1959 Christmas radio broadcast of Pope John XXIII :

The appearance of true peace is threefold:

Peace of heart: peace is before all else an interior thing, belonging to the spirit, and its fundamental condition is a loving and filial dependence on the will of God.

"You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless till it rests in you."

All that weakens, that breaks, that destroys this conformity and union of wills is opposed to peace. Chief among such disrupters is wrongdoing, sin.

"Who has resisted him, and has had peace?"

Peace is the happy legacy of those who keep the divine law.

"Much peace have they who love your law."

For its part, good will is simply the sincere determination to respect the eternal laws of God, to conform oneself to his commandments and to follow his paths; in a word, to abide in truth. This is the glory, which God expects to receive from humankind.

"Peace among people of good will."

Social peace: this is solidly based on mutual and reciprocal respect for the personal dignity of people. The Son of God was made human and his redeeming act concerns not only humankind as a whole, but also the individual person.

He "loved me and gave himself up for me."

Thus spoke Saint Paul to the Galatians and if God has loved humankind to such a degree, that indicates that humankind belongs to him and that the human person has an absolute right to be respected.

Such is the teaching of the Church, which, for the solution of these social questions, has always fixed her gaze on the human person and has taught that things and institutions (goods, the economy, the state) are primarily for people, not people for them.

The disturbances which unsettle the internal peace of nations trace their origins chiefly to this source: that humans have been treated almost exclusively as machines, pieces of merchandise, worthless cogs in some great machine or mere productive units.

It is only when the dignity of the person comes to be taken as the standard of value for people and their activities that the means will exist to settle civil discord and the often-profound divisions between, for example, employers and the employed. Above all, it is only then that the means will exist to secure for the family those conditions of life, work and assistance which can make it better directed to its function as a cell of society and the primary community instituted by God himself for the development of the human person.

No peace will have solid foundations unless hearts nourish the sentiment of kinship, which ought to exist among all who have a common origin and are called to the same destiny. The knowledge that they belong to the same family extinguishes lust, greed, pride and the instinct to dominate others, which are the roots of dissensions and wars. It binds all in a single bond of higher and more fruitful solidarity.

International peace: the basis of international peace is, above all, truth. For in international relations, too, the Christian saying is valid: "The truth shall make you free."

It is necessary, then, to overcome certain erroneous ideas: the myths of force, of nationalism, or of other things that have poisoned congenial life among peoples and it is necessary that peaceful "living-together" be based on moral principles and be in accord with the teaching of right reason and of Christian doctrine.

Along with and enlightened by truth, should come justice. This removes the causes of quarrels and wars, solves the disputes, fixes the tasks, defines the duties and gives the answer to the claims of each party.

Justice in its turn must be integrated and sustained by Christian charity. That is, love should be for one's neighbour and one's own people, not concentrated on one's self in an exclusive egotism which is suspicious of another's good. But it ought to expand and reach out spontaneously toward the community of interests, to embrace all peoples and to interweave common human relations. Thus it will be possible to speak of "living together" and not of mere "coexistence," which precisely because it is deprived of this inspiration of mutual dependence, raises barriers behind which are harboured mutual suspicion, fear and terror.


Lord of all truth and peace, you raised up your bishop John to be servant of the servants of God and gave him wisdom to call for the work of renewing your Church: grant that, following his example, we may reach out to other Christians to clasp them with the love of your son and labour throughout the nations of the world to kindle a desire for justice and peace; through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


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