Daily Prayers for August 14

Maximilian Kolbe (1894 – 1941)

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish priest who provided shelter for thousands of Jews in his friary and was an active voice against the Nazi violence. He was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned at Auschwitz. When a fellow prisoner escaped from the camp, the Nazis selected ten other prisoners to be killed in reprisal. As they were lined up to die, one of the ten began to cry, “My wife! My children! I will never see them again!” At this, Maximilian stepped forward and asked to die in his place. His request was granted, and he led the other men in song and prayer as they awaited their deaths. Maximilian had also lived in Japan and founded a monastery on the outskirts of Nagasaki. Four years after his martyrdom, on August 9, 1945, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, but his monastery miraculously survived. Maximilian’s feast day, when Christians around the world celebrate his life and sainthood as a hero of the church, falls one week after Nagasaki Day. Each year, we spend the week reflecting on the best and the worst that human beings are capable of.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you

as the day rises to meet the sun.

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

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee : let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

Song “O Lord, Hear My Prayer”

In you, O God, have we taken refuge : let us never be put to shame.

Psalm 71:4 8

Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked : from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.

For you are my hope, O Lord God : my confidence since I was young.

I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength : my praise shall be always of you.

I have become a portent to many : but you are my refuge and my strength.

Let my mouth be full of your praise : and your glory all the day long.

In you, O God, have we taken refuge : let us never be put to shame.

1 Sam-uel 20:24 – 42 Matthew 27:24 – 31

In you, O God, have we taken refuge : let us never be put to shame.

Maximilian Kolbe had this to say: “These Nazis will not kill our souls, since we prisoners certainly distinguish ourselves quite definitely from our tormentors; they will not be able to deprive us of the dignity of our Catholic belief. We will not give up. And when we die, then we die pure and peaceful, resigned to God in our hearts.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Lord, we know that you often answer our prayers in mysterious and stunning ways. Make us sensitive to your Spirit that we might recognize your gentle nudge. And help us cultivate lives that are always ready to respond to your call. Form us into -people who are truly ready to become the change we want to see. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing : once again into our doors.

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