During this Season of Advent, as we anticipate the birth of the Christ Child, the Holy Father asks us to also consider the infants around the world who are in need of our prayers. His December monthly intention is for the Future of the Very Young.
“That every country take the measures necessary to prioritize the future of the very young, especially those who are suffering.”
“What the Holy Father is talking about are these young children who are full of possibility, who could go in a lot of directions,” explained John Feister, Communications Director for Glenmary Home Missioners. We know that babies and children need a huge amount of care and nurturing to grow into faithful, virtuous adults. Some children are blessed with a loving family, physical and mental health, and a strong support network. Others face difficulties like physical ailments, poverty, abuse, or neglect.
“These young souls born into different bodies in different parts of the planet, and how different their futures can be—but as Christians we ought to work and strive that they all have that equal chance at a good life here and eternal life to come,” said Glen Lewerenz of Morning Air®.
During Advent we are called to be awakened and remain vigilant, so it is fitting that Pope Francis asks us to wake up to the suffering of the most innocent and vulnerable members of society during this month of December.
“Our Faith calls us to really look out for the little ones, and the poor in general have always been of special concern in the biblical tradition, so that means they are of special concern to God,” said Feister. “But … these people who are suffering the most ought to be our number one concern. … So the Holy Father has a pretty challenging Advent message for us, to really think about those who are suffering the most.”
Here in the United States, a country in which so many are blessed with abundance, one in five children is born into poverty. Feister recommends that we look at our family nativity sets in our homes. As you look upon the Baby Jesus lying on a bed of hay, reflect on the poor and suffering children in the world (and even in your own community) who need your prayers and help.
How might you support babies in need? First, through your prayers. Next, find a pro-life pregnancy center or similar charity that supports moms in need. These organizations are always looking for donations of diapers, clothes, formula, and other baby care necessities. If you know a family in need this Christmas, reach out and ask them how you can help.
Son of God, protect the children of the world. Keep them safe and guide them in your ways, that they may bring your light to others and know your love.
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