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Prayer Corner

Prayer for the Month: Helpless Shepherd

On 18 March 1976, the newly appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Saigon, Francois-Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, was arrested and imprisoned on a trumped up charge of ‘conspiracy’. He was to spend the next thirteen years of his life in various prisons and ‘re-education camps’ of the communist government, nine of which were spent in solitary confinement. He wrote: I wanted to do so many things, to serve my people, but I could not. Then I came to think about Jesus on the Cross: that he was immobilized, he could neither preach nor administer any sacraments - he too was ‘helpless’. Nevertheless, it was from there that he performed his greatest deed: he redeemed us sinners. Thanks to his help, I have never regretted my destiny’.While under house arrest months before his detention, Bishop Van Thuan, realising the persecution that awaited him and his people, set to writing short messages of encouragement and counsel to his orphaned flock. The messages were smuggled out of prison and clandestinely printed as The Road to Hope. The ‘helpless’ Shepherd thus brought untold consolation to countless Christians.

Blessed is God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.

Your Daily Prayer
Direct, O Lord, and guide and influence all that is happening in my mind and heart during this day: all my thinking and longing and fearing; my moods and feelings and ever-changing altitudes; my rernemberings and hopes and desires and repugnances and resistances: my sense of depression or boredom or joy or helplessness; direct and influence all this to your great service and to my growth in the Spirit.

I pray with Mary and the whole Church
For the Pope's intentions this month.

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