Praying for Wholeness during Holy Week

Morning Prayer:
March 21, 2016
Prayer by Fr. John Harhager, S.M., President

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, and with it we began that very special week in the Church’s calendar which is called Holy Week.

The word “holy” means being sacred or being close to the divine. It comes from an old English word which is derived from a German word which means: wholly (spelled W H O L L Y). This word means to become whole or complete. And so this Holy Week is a time for us to become whole.

This would suggest that we may not be whole or complete. And that reminds me of another word, “holey” (spelled H O L E Y) which means having holes or gaps or openings. It is the opposite of being “whole.” Shirts are said to be holey, if they have many holes in them. We are not shirts but we too can have holes in us: spaces of emptiness, pockets of darkness, little places of loneliness, sinful spots… anything within us which makes us feel less than whole, incomplete, unsatisfied, resistant to wholeness.

Holy Week then is that very special week at the end of Lent when we work extra hard at filling the holes in our lives with God so that we are made whole and become God’s Holy People.

And we are not alone in needing to be made whole. Pope Francis tells us all of creation strives for wholeness. And in Laudato Si, he gives us a prayer which fits perfectly with this Holy Week.

So, let us pray an abbreviated version of that prayer. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All-powerful God,
you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us/in us each day.

Mary, seat of wisdom…. pray for us.

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