USCCB: pray, fast for families facing trials
December 27, 2013
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on Friday, December 27, for the following intention: “that families facing difficult trials at this time may be given the peace of Christ.”
In a reflection accompanying the intention, USCCB staff quoted Pope Francis: “true joy even remains during times of trial too, even in suffering, because it is not superficial joy but enters into the very depths of the person who entrusts himself to God and confides in him … Those who have met Jesus along the way have experienced a joy that nothing and no one can take away. Jesus Christ is our joy! His faithful love is inexhaustible!”
In December 2012, the US bishops announced a call to prayer and penance whose “overall focus is to invite Catholics to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty. Campaign components include monthly Eucharistic holy hours in cathedrals and parishes, daily family rosary, special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, fasting and abstinence on Fridays, and the second observance of a Fortnight for Freedom.”
This campaign was originally scheduled to end with the conclusion of the Year of Faith, but at their November 2013 meeting, the bishops voted to extend it indefinitely.
The Friday prayer and fasting intentions change weekly; the link below describes how to receive the intentions in advance, typically on the afternoon of the previous day.