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WUCWO President's message of September

The power of prayer and penance

Dear friends,

we have seen with horror the pictures of Afghan mothers throwing their children through barbed wire fences to save their lives... heart breaking gestures of love of the women from such a suffering land! Afghanistan is rich in gold and other minerals; it has a strategic geopolitical position that has suffered several foreign occupations, and its territory is plagued by land mines that produce about 120 deaths per month, among other sufferings. How can we not commiserate with such tragedies!

Regarding Afghanistan, the Pope asked us: “At historic moments like these we cannot remain indifferent, the history of the Church teaches us that. As Christians, this situation commits us. That is why I appeal to everyone to intensify prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting, prayer and penance. This is the time to do it. I am serious: intensify prayer and practise fasting, asking the Lord for mercy and forgiveness” (Angelus, 29 August 2021).

WUCWO women do not run the helm of geopolitical or economic management, but we do have the mysterious power of prayer and penance. Jesus assures us: “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. For he who asks, receives; he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened” (Lk. 11:9-10). Let us imagine an ascending column of millions of women interceding with prayer and offerings... how can we not receive in response a shower of graces from the heart of Jesus and Mary. I invite you to place on the paten, together with your personal intentions, the Afghan women, the Cuban women and the women of so many other countries who are suffering calamities today.

In this message I would also like to echo the Holy Father's intention for the month of September, called “the time of Creation”: following so many young people, let us courageously choose a sustainable lifestyle. This lifestyle, which is made explicit in Laudato si’, requires an inner and outer conversion. And every conversion requires prayer and fasting. Let us approach this time of pandemic as an opportunity to reflect and learn how to transform our environment. It is our responsibility to ensure that whatever part of the planet is within our reach, large or small, is transformed into a Common Home where the excluded can live as our brothers and sisters. Together we can contribute to overcoming the planetary crisis.

And let me add that in the midst of the many losses we have suffered and continue to suffer during this global emergency caused by the virus, we always have something beautiful to rescue: the family. Families have proven to be the refuge in the midst of the pandemic, and family ties have been tested to sustain children's schooling, work and so many other dimensions of our lives. It is essential that we care for and promote families with the strength of our prayer and our mortification.

I invite you to go deeper into “The new pastoral style of Amoris laetitia: welcoming, accompanying, discerning and integrating,” the webinar we will have on 15 September (16:00 Central European Time) with the interventions of the Under-Secretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, Dr Gabriella Gambino, and the theologian Oranne de Mautort, co-author of the book Familles, belles et fragiles ! Mettre en oeuvre Amoris laetitia dans l'Eglise. Please invite priests, consecrated women and lay people who wish to develop a pastoral ministry in line with the teachings of the Church that nourishes us as promoters of the family. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82633744748?pwd=aUprd0E0WldKL0FmM2czMGVXMVNmQT09

Precisely on that date, 15 September, according to the Roman liturgical calendar, the Church celebrates Our Lady of Sorrows. I place this webinar in the hands of our Holy Mother. She will gather our sorrows, those of our families and those of all the women and men of the world. I entrust her to raise up our prayer and our penance so that we may experience the dew of graces that we are to receive through her intercession.

Best regards,

María Lía Zervino, Servidora


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