This month the Church begins, prayerfully, hopefully, to awaken to the ancient call of Christ to the synodal quest” to Journey Together”. There is a profound wealth of opportunity to grow together in the graces of God as we would seek and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, each, and together. Much is being said and written in the media and in social media about the Synod. Regardless of your current perceptions, I would encourage us all to go to the source. Visit the Vatican website and download at least two documents: Synod 2021-2023 For A Synodal Church – Communion, Participation , Mission – A Preparatory Document. and Vademecum For the Synod on Stnodality, Offical Handbook for Listening and Discernment in Local Churches. I believe as we study, listen and participate, together we will not be disappointed.
For now, let us take to heart and practice the following:
Prayer for the Synod: Adsumus Sancte Spiritus
Every session of the Second Vatican Council began with the prayer Adsumus Sancte Spiritus, the first word of the original Latin, meaning, “We stand before You, Holy Spirit,” which has been historically used at Councils, Synods and other Church gatherings for hundreds of years, and is attributed to Saint Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 4 April 636). As we embrace this Synodal Process, this prayer invites the Holy Spirit to be at work in us so that we may be a community and a people of grace. For the Synodal journey from 2021 to 2023, we propose to the following simplified version,1 so that any group or liturgical assembly can pray it more easily.
We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go
and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity
so that we may journey together to eternal life
and not stray from the way of truth
and what is right.
All this we ask of You,
who are at work in every place and time,
in the communion of the Father and the Son,
forever and ever.
Fifty-nine years ago this month Vatican II was convened. The Council was gathered, to the surprise of most everyone, by St. Pope John XXIII. This Council would bring changes and challenges. The courage and faith of all those who participated would as sought, “open the windows of the Church to the Holy Spirit”. Let us seek and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to grow on in the Kingdom of God!