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  • Writer's picturePhil


Lord, we take ourselves far too seriously most of the time.

Help us to add humour to our perspective - remembering always that humour is one of your most precious gifts to us.

Rid us of fear and negativity, and teach us to view situations through Your eyes and discover reasons to rejoice.

May we grow in humble confidence, which sets free the gift of humour within us.

PHILIP NERI – THE SAINT WITH A SMILE was born in 1515 in Florence,

showed the impulsiveness and spontaneity of his character from the time he was a boy. His father was not a successful businessman, and at eighteen Philip was sent to work with an older cousin who was a success. It didn’t take Philip long to realise that his cousin's work wasn’t for him. He went to Rome in 1533 where he was the live-in tutor of the sons of a fellow Florentine, and where he studied philosophy and theology. He soon abandoned this as well!

Night was his special time of prayer. After dark he would go out in the streets to pray, and the experience that gave him so much energy to serve God was to help at night at the hospital of the incurables.

In 1548 Philip formed a confraternity with other laymen to minister to pilgrims who came to Rome without food or shelter. The spiritual director of the confraternity convinced Philip that he could do even better work as a priest.

At his new home, the church of San Girolamo, he was sought-after by more and more younger men, who would come to him for spiritual advice.

Philip made himself available to everyone at any hour - even at night.

Philip decided it would be best for the group to have their own church.

They became officially known as the Congregation of the Oratory.

Philip was known to be spontaneous and unpredictable, charming and humorous. He seemed to sense different ways to bring people to God.

There are stories of him wearing ridiculous clothes, or walking around with half his beard shaved off.

The greater his reputation for holiness

the sillier he wanted to appear.

Philip’s approach to sanctity was truly catholic, all-embracing and accompanied by a good laugh.

Philip always wanted his followers to become not less but more human through their striving for holiness.

We often worry more about what others think than about what God thinks.

Do something that you are afraid might make you look a little ridiculous.

Then reflect on how it makes you feel,

and pray about your experience with God.

“Our ability to laugh,

especially the ability to laugh at ourselves,

is a sign of holiness,

a sign of the transcendent within.” Gerard Hughes

Give us a sense of humour, Lord,

and also things to laugh about.

Give us the grace to take a joke against ourselves,

and to see the funny side of the things we do.

Save us from annoyance, bad temper,

resentfulness against our friends.

Help us to laugh even in the face of trouble.

Fill our minds with the love and joy of Jesus;

for his name’s sake.

✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

WE THANK GOD FOR THE GIFT OF THIS DAY and offer to the Lord what lies ahead of you today…

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


and to pray with you for particular individuals,

especially for those who do not know her Son.

Hail, Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee,

blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners, now,

and at the hour of our death.


…and may there be peace within me….

The Universal Prayer for Peace - Satish Kumar

Lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe, Peace, Peace, Peace….. (a time for silent prayer)

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Let everyone know your forbearance.

The Lord is at hand.

Have no anxiety about anything,

but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known to God.

And the peace of God, which passes all understanding,

will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Loving God, Your desire is for our wholeness and well being.We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.

We grieve precious lives lost

and vulnerable lives threatened.

We ache for ourselves and our neighbours, standing before an uncertain future. We pray: may love, not fear, go viral. Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence, You, the God who does not abandon. Sister Christine Koelhoffer,IHM

Jesus prayed to his Father for the coming of God’s Kingdom.

With Him we say:

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name;

Thy kingdom come;

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory;

for ever and ever. Amen.


Most compassionate Life-giver,

may we honour and praise you:

may we work with you to establish

your new order of justice, peace and love.

Give us what we need for growth,

and help us, through forgiving others, to accept forgiveness.

Strengthen us in the time of testing,

that we may resist all evil.

For all the tenderness,

strength and love are yours, now and forever.

Amen. (W Wallace)

Let us bless the Lord;

and may the souls of the faithful departed,

through the mercy of God, ✠ rest in peace and rise in glory.

As Jesus left His followers, they returned to The Upper Room in Jerusalem with Mary His Mother, to devote themselves in prayer. They did this for the next nine days;

and on the tenth day they experienced empowerment to do what Jesus asked of them. The name of this time of prayer, “NOVENA”, is derived from the Latin “Novem” – nine. We wait in prayer in these days leading to Pentecost to pray for the world in the grip of this pandemic, and to discover how best we can serve in the light of it.

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