Please Say This Prayer With Me...
At this time, when our country has so many episcopal vacancies, it is essential that we pray for strong and faithful leadership. The Church in England and Wales is still alive, but besieged on all sides by secularism, moral evil, relativism, and dissent from external forces like ACTA as well as internally from religious who seem to think that their ministry has more authority than the Magisterium.
We have much to give thanks for and much to rejoice in, but like any great organisation, we must recognise that if we are not moving forward in terms of both vision and numbers, we are inevitably moving backwards. We need bishops to have the vision to see that unless we defeat relativism and present a clear catechesis of the faith as deposited, we are lost.
Perhaps this is a pertinent time to recall the prayer of the great English Cardinal and Holy Martyr St John Fisher to Our Lord beseeching Him to give the Church strong Bishops:
“Lord, according to Your promise that the Gospel should be preached throughout the whole world, raise up men fit for such work. The Apostles were but soft and yielding clay till they were baked hard by the fire of the Holy Ghost.
So, good Lord, do now in like manner again with Thy Church militant; change and make the soft and slippery earth into hard stone;St John Fisher, intercede for us!
set in Thy Church strong and mighty pillars that may suffer and endure great labours, watching, poverty, thirst, hunger, cold and heat;
which also shall not fear the threatening of princes, persecution, neither death but always persuade and think with themselves to suffer with a good will, slanders, shame, and all kinds of torments, for the glory and laud of Thy Holy Name.
By this manner, good Lord, the truth of Thy Gospel shall be preached throughout all the world. Therefore, merciful Lord, exercise Thy mercy, show it indeed upon Thy Church.”