This coming Sunday marks the 53 anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John XXIII opened with a speech and a prayer.
Join me today in prayer with Pope St. John XXIII for the future of our Church.
O divine Spirit, sent by the Father in the Name of Jesus, give your aid and infallible guidance to your Church and pour out on the Ecumenical Council the fullness of your gifts.
O gentle Teacher and Consoler, enlighten the hearts of our prelates who, eagerly responding to the call of the supreme Roman Pontiff, will gather here in solemn conclave.
May this Council produce abundant fruits: may the light and power of the Gospel be more widely diffused in human society; may new vigor be imparted to the Catholic religion and its missionary function; may we all acquire a more profound knowledge of the Church’s doctrine and a wholesome increase of Christian morality.
O gentle Guest of our souls, confirm our minds in truth and dispose our hearts to obedience, that the deliberations of the Council may find us generous consent and prompt obedience.
We pray to you again for the lambs who are no longer part of the one fold of Jesus Christ, that they too, who still glory in the name of Christians, may at last be reunited under one Shepherd.
Renew in our own days your miracles as of a second Pentecost; and grant that Holy Church, reunited in one prayer, more fervent than before, around Mary the Mother of Jesus, and under the leadership of Peter, may extend the kingdom of the divine Savior, a kingdom of truth, justice, love and peace.
Also, checkout this old video footage of the opening session of the Council.
And, I picked up this book many years ago and only recently flipped through it, Journal of a Soul is a collection of personal and private writings of Pope St. John XXIII from 1895-1961. It includes his journaling during his years in seminary, the years leading up to his election as Pope, his thoughts and meditations he has while on private retreats in Castel Gandolfo as Pope, and even multiple versions and details of his last will and testament. I highly recommend it. The warmth and simplicity of his life and his desire for union with Jesus Christ above all things is inspiring.
Pick up Journal of a Soul!
If you don't own a catechism, then in a way you're kind of missing out on Vatican II and one of the best kept secrets of the Council. Many have described it as a direct fruit of Vatican II, who's aim was to "guard and present better the precious deposit of faith," as Pope St. John XXIII said at the opening of the Council.
So if you don't own a catechism yet, get one! And don't get some flim-flam ugly or over-sized paperback copy you won't use or read or pray with. Get one and support Reverb Culture here.
It's pocket sized, with a vinyl cover, and it won't hurt if you drop it on your foot.