Last year, I made an 'Easter prayer' at this time. I think it might be a custom worth following.
My first prayer is for my beloved Michelle, and a prayer of thanks for a course of study she just completed with flying colours. I have other personal intentions that are right at the top of the list, but that I don't want to make public (though they are perfectly ordinary and not at all unusual). Still, I mention them because I never want them to lack precedence.
My second prayer is a prayer of thanksgiving for my father's recovery and apparent convalescence. He has had to make some drastic lifestyle changes and, though he is making no complaint, I know he is finding it hard. I pray that he will be strengthened in this.
I pray for all my family members who are not Christians (or believers at all) to be given the gift of faith.
I pray for the children and the adult who were baptised at the Easter Vigil in Ballymun last night to persevere in the faith, and to enjoy earthly happiness and security. I pray also for the woman who approached me after Mass, asking me to pray for an intention which she kept confidential (and who asked me what country I came from, saying: "You don't have an Irish accent"!)
I pray that traditional marriage may be upheld in the referendum to be held in Ireland in May.
I pray for all the Christians now being persecuted and living in fear all over the world.
I pray for the Jewish people all over the world.
I pray that the arts, entertainments and manners of our society will reflect more gentleness, idealism, chivalry, respect and wonder. I pray especially that childhood innocence will be protected and valued, in this era when there are so many forces ranged against it. I pray, too, that our societies will come to have a greater honour and esteem for old age.
I pray that the national traditions of every nation, the regional traditions of every region, the folk traditions of every people, and the family traditions of every family will be strengthened and celebrated. I pray especially that the Irish people will come to a greater love of their own traditions and distinctiveness.
I pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and for all our priests and our seminarians.
I pray for everybody who feels lonely, unloved and inadequate-- that they will find companionship, love and a sense of their own worth.
I pray for all my blog readers, those whose names (or aliases) I know, and those whose names I don't know.
I pray for Pope Francis, for the Holy Catholic Church, and for all Christian churches and communions around the world.