World Day of the Sick, as the centerpiece of this initiative, there will be a prayer a day on the Grail. From Feb. 1-10 the prayers are for the sick. On Feb. 11 our prayer will commemorate World Day of the Sick. Then, from Feb. 12-28, CHA will share prayers for our colleagues— the caregivers and leaders who answer God's call to foster healing, act with compassion and promote wellness for all. Prayers for the Sick Feb. 1 – A Prayer for Those Who are Ill God our Father, we bring before you today those who suffer from illness or disability—those whose lives are profoundly affected by their illness. When they feel fragile and broken, remind them that you call them by name and hold them in the palm of your hand. When they feel devalued, remind them that they are made in the image Jesus. When they are reminded of different times in the past, lead them to grow in the faith that you love them today, as they are, in the reality of their lives this day. When they feel uncertain and fearful about the future, lead them to that perfect love which casts out all fear. When situations remind them not of what they can do, but of what they cannot do, remind them that love never fails. May all of us, whatever our circumstances, never be so taken up with our own concerns that we do not see or respond to the needs of others, especially those who suffer in our midst. May we live with courage to respond to the challenges that each of us faces. Amen. Feb. 2 – A Prayer by One Who Is Sick Lord, look upon me with eyes of mercy, may your healing hand rest upon me, may your life-giving powers flow into every cell of my body and into the depths of my soul, cleansing, purifying, restoring me to wholeness and strength for service in your Kingdom. Grant to me such a consciousness of your indwelling and surrounding presence that I may permit you to give me health and strength and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Feb. 3 – Come Lord Father, Your love is as wide as the oceans, As deep as the sea, And as tall as the heavens. May your spirit rise like a mighty wave and come and restore those who are ill. You are the water of life, You are a fresh spring, You are healing rain To all those who are in need. Come Lord! Feb. 4 – For Community Members Who are Sick It is a cry that we hear every day in our Catholic hospitals and nursing homes: "I want to see." In some circumstances, it is a cry for physical sight that has been taken away by age or accident. But in many circumstances, it is a cry for meaning and insight as persons suffer spiritual crises spurred by ill health and disaster. What is the meaning of life with disability? Is there purpose in my pain? How could a good God allow this to happen? What happens after I die? READER 1 Spiritual care is not unique to Catholic hospitals and nursing homes, but it is integral to their identity. Catholic teaching lifts the importance of honoring the whole person — both body and spirit — seeing the two as integrally connected. It would be impossible for us to offer Catholic health care without dedicating colleagues to spiritual care. They go by many different names — chaplains, pastoral caregivers, spiritual companions and more. Most are professionals who've prepared for their ministry with years of study and certification. Others are generous volunteers from the local community. All help us to fulfill our mission in an explicit way. And today we give thanks for their presence in our midst. (Invite all pastoral caregivers present to stand.) READER 2 As a pastoral caregiver, yours is the face of Christ for many of our patients/residents and staff. Today, we offer thanks to God for you and ask God's blessing. Let us pray: READER 3 For the generosity and gentleness of these women and men ... ALL We give thanks. READER 1 For their courage and perseverance in accompanying those in grief and pain … ALL We give thanks. READER 2 For their wisdom in dealing with life's most difficult questions … ALL We give thanks. READER 3 For the gift of fidelity to their call … ALL We call upon you, O God. READER 1 For the gift of ongoing strength and endurance in their ministry … ALL We call upon you, O God. READER 2 For continued growth and insight before the mysteries of life and death … ALL We call upon you, O God. Let us pray: ALL Bless these women and men whom you have called to serve you as spiritual companions of the infirm and suffering. Make them ministers of the "sight" that we all need in our lives in times of trial. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the healer, who attends to both body and spirit. Amen. Feb. 5 – May Your Will be Done Dear Lord, Place your loving hand on all those persons who today are ill or in need of compassion and care. Lighten their burdens. Work in their lives. Heal them body, mind or spirit. May all who are ailing trust in your goodness and find hope in your faithfulness, even in the middle of this suffering. Let them be filled with patience and joy in your presence as they wait for your healing touch. May your will be done in their lives. Amen. Feb. 6 – A Prayer in Times of Illness Lord Jesus, you came into the world to heal our infirmities and to endure our sufferings. You went about healing all and bringing comfort to those in pain and need. We come before you now in this time of illness asking that you may be the source of our strength in body, courage in spirit and patience in pain. May we join ourselves more closely to you on the cross and in your suffering that through them we may draw our patience and hope. Assist us and restore us to health so that united more closely to your family, the Church, we may give praise and honor to your name. Amen. Feb. 7 – A Blessing for the Sick Lord Jesus, when you were on earth, they brought the sick to you and you healed them all. Today I ask you to bless all those in sickness, in weakness and in pain. For those who are blind and who cannot see the light of the sun; the beauty of the world, or the faces of their friends: Bless your people, O Lord. For those who are deaf and cannot hear the voices which speak to them: Bless your people, O Lord. For those who are helpless and who must lie in bed while others go out and in: Bless your people, O Lord. For those whose minds have lost their reason and those who are so nervous that they cannot cope with life: Bless your people, O Lord. For those who must face life under some handicap; those whose weakness means that they must always be careful: Bless your people, O Lord. For those suffering from debilitating or terminal illness and for their caregivers: Bless your people, O Lord. For those who are near the hour of death and in their final struggle: Bless your people, O Lord. Father, your only Son took upon himself the sufferings and weakness of the whole human race; through his passion and cross he taught us how good can be brought out of suffering. Look upon our brothers and sisters who are ill, whom we now remember in a special way. In the midst of illness and pain, may they be united with Christ, who heals both body and soul. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. Almighty God, as we ask your help for our brothers and sisters who are ill, we ask you to help us to be healing people in our time and place. May your love touch others through us, and may I help all people to live in peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. - From the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, New York, N.Y. Feb. 8 – Prayer for those Suffering Mental Illness Loving God, we pray today for those who are confronted by the sadness, ambiguity and confusion of mental illness, and for those upon whom they depend for attention and compassionate care. Look with mercy on all whose afflictions bring them weakness, distress, confusion or isolation. Provide for them homes of dignity and peace; give to them understanding helpers and the willingness to accept help. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Feb. 9 – Touch Those Who are Sick Loving God, we pray today for those who are confronted by the sadness, ambiguity and confusion of mental illness, and for those upon whom they depend for attention and compassionate care. Look with mercy on all whose afflictions bring them weakness, distress, confusion or isolation. Provide for them homes of dignity and peace; give to them understanding helpers and the willingness to accept help. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Feb. 10 – For Community Members Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in need. Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in your healing presence. Show your mercy as you close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits. May all those in need of care find lasting health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking you for all your gifts.