On Thursdays I go to St. Thomas University and just sit in the Chapel in front of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour or so before Mass. It is a very special time with the Lord. The Chapel at that hour is quiet and often empty and it is easy to just be there with the Lord.
Here is the prayer Pope Francis prayed at the foot of the statue of the Immaculate Conception in the piazza near the Trinita in Rome, a tradition that used to make it possible for the Pope to visit the convent when Our Mother Foundress was there and, I believe, there were other visits in the 19th century. I like the prayer so copied it for you:
For his own tribute to the Immacolata – enshrined atop a pillar in the midst of the city's shopping hub – the Pope's prayer this year touched on refugees, the life of the family and the Year of Mercy now underway:
On this day, the feast of your Immaculate Conception,
I pay homage to you in faith and love
On behalf of God’s holy people who live in this city and diocese.
I come before you in the name of families, with their joys and troubles;
On behalf of children and young people, exposed to life’s challenges;
On behalf of the elderly, laden with age and years of experience;
I come especially
On behalf of the sick, the imprisoned,
And those who struggle.
As a leader I also come here for the sake of all those
Who have come from far-away lands in search of peace and work.
There is space for everyone beneath your cloak,
Because you are the Mother of Mercy.
Your heart is full of tenderness towards all your children:
The tenderness of God, who, by you, became incarnate
And became our brother, Jesus,
Saviour of every man and every woman.
Looking at you, Our Immaculate Mother,
We see the victory of divine mercy
Over sin and all its consequences;
And hope for a better life is reignited within us,
Free from slavery, rancor and fear.
Here, today, in the heart of Rome, we hear your motherly voice
Calling all of us to walk towards that door,
Which represents Christ.
You say to everyone: “Come, come closer, faithful ones;
Enter and receive the gift of mercy;
Do not be afraid, do not be ashamed:
The Father awaits you with open arms.
He will forgive and welcome you into his house.
Come, all those in search of peace and joy.”
We thank you, Immaculate Mother,
Because you do not make us walk along this path alone;
You guide us,
You are near us and help us through every difficulty.
May God bless you, now and forever. Amen.