If we ask her, Our Lady Help of Christians will certainly intercede for the Church in Australia as it continues to work its way through the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, says Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.
Along with our other national patron, St Mary MacKillop, the archbishop is certain that Our Lady will help all of the councillors to continue to listen to the Holy Spirit and each other in order to discern what God is asking of the Church in this country at this time.
In his homily for the official 6 October Mass for the Plenary Council of Australia, in a livestream from St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, the archbishop said that for God’s will to be done in the Church in Australia it needs to become a “powerhouse of prayer”.
His homily also reflected on the musings of the daughter of Karl Marx, the founder of atheistic communism, speaking to a friend after reading the Our Father. Jenny Marx spoke of how wonderful it would be if there were a God like the one spoken about in that prayer, he explained.
“Well, Ms Marx,” Archbishop Fisher said, “we the People of God in Australia respond, ‘there is!’”
She also spoke of how transformational it would be if God’s children made his name holy, made his kingdom come, did his will, fed and forgave others, were fed and forgiven, and were freed from evil.
“For all that to be true, we must be Australia’s powerhouse of prayer,” Archbishop Fisher preached.
“Only through prayer can we hear, discern, converse, propose, decide,” he said. “Only with such inspirations that we can make the decisions we must. But with true and deep prayer we can face the dreams and difficulties head on, in the grace of the Holy Spirit and the company of fellow believers, striking out with renewed conviction and humble confidence.”
Archbishop Fisher said that Jesus Christ “must be our wisdom and guide”, along with the method of prayer he taught his followers in the Our Father. “The God of Christianity is Our Father, a God-with-us, a God-for-us,” he said.
This Mass marked the midway point of the first assembly for the Plenary Council. Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, President of the Plenary Council, officially opened the week-long first assembly with a livestreamed Mass on 3 October, after which daily Mass, sessions and small group discussions were scheduled each day for the roughly 280 members. The program is being held primarily online due to COVID-19 restrictions across the country.