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Blessing of Saint Francis
May the Lord keep you.
May He show His face to you and have mercy.
May He turn to you His countenance and give you peace.
The Lord bless you.
Blessing of Saint Clare
What you do, may you always do and never abandon. But with swift pace, light step, unswerving feet, so that even your steps stir up no dust, may you go forward securely, joyfully and swiftly, on the path of prudent happiness, not believing anything, not agreeing with anything, that would dissuade you from this resolution or that would place a stumbling block for you on the way, so that you may offer your vows to the Most High in the pursuit of that perfection to which the Spirit of God has called you.
Prayer before the San Damiano Crucifix
Most High, glorious God enlighten the darkness of my heart.
Give me true faith, certain hope and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge that I may carry out Your Holy and true command.
– Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi to discern God’s will
The Praises of God
You are holy, the only God,
And your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.
You, Holy Father are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, All Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love.
You are wisdom.
You are humility.
You are endurance.
You are rest.
You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and You suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.
You are our courage.
You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, Great and Wonderful
Lord, God Almighty, Merciful Savior.
-St. Francis of Asissi
Closing Prayer for Franciscan Justice Circle
Most High, glorious God
we praise You and we thank You
for the many good people and blessings
You have bestowed upon our Justice Circle.
We ask today that Your spirit of truth and goodness
enlighten us as we embrace
the opportunities and challenges of this day
and give us true faith,
certain hope and perfect charity,
sense and knowledge, Gracious God,
as we seek to live out your gospel.
A Franciscan Blessing for Justice and Peace and Intercessions
May God bless you with discomfort…
at easy answers, hard hearts, half-truths, and superficial relationships.
May God bless you so that you may live from deep within your heart where God’s Spirit
May God bless you with anger…
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people.
May God bless you so that you may
work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears…
to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection,
starvation and war.
May God bless you so that you may reach out your hand
to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
to believe that you can make a difference in this world, in
your neighborhood,so that you will courageously try
what you don’t think you can do, but, in Jesus Christ you’ll
have all the strength necessary.
May God bless you to fearlessly speak out about injustice,
Unjust laws, corrupt politicians, unjust and cruel treatment
of prisoners, and senseless wars,
genocides, starvations, and poverty that is so pervasive.
May God bless you that you remember we are all called to
continue God’s redemptive work of love and healing in
God’s place, in and through God’s name, in God’s Spirit,
continually creating and breathing new life and grace into
everything and everyone we touch.
United in the body of Christ, let us pray for all people.
Response: Lord, hear our prayer.
That our leaders will be dedicated to Your standards of order, equity, and justice, we
pray to the Lord.
That we be inspired to work each day against sin and the structures of sin that create
injustice and oppress the poor and that we will be strong in this journey, we pray to the
That the Church continues to proclaim and defend fundamental human rights to life,
food, shelter, work, health care, protection of the family, and respect for the dignity of
humankind, we pray to the Lord.
That Your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which
divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being
healed, we may live in justice and peace, we pray to the lord.
Let us pray (prayed by all):
Jesus, You identified with the poor, the hungry, the captives and the strangers. You
spent Your ministry reaching out to the oppressed and abandoned. You reminded us
that we will be judged by Your treatment of the “least” of our brothers and sisters.
Expand deep within our hearts a longing to stand with You and the poor, a desire to live
a more simple life so that others may simply live, and a passion to work for justice
Because it has its source in You.
Care for Creation Prayers
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The Canticle of the Creatures
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises,
the glory, and the honor, and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no human is worthy to mention Your name.
Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Son, who is the day and through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor;
and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,
through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains and governs us,
and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You,
Most High, shall they be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.
– From Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, Vol.1, The Saint, ed. Regis J. Armstrong, OFM Cap., J.A. Wayne Hellmann, OFM Conv., William J. Short, OFM (New York: New City Press, 1999), 113-114
A Prayer for our Earth
you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned
and forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty,
not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts
of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.
Creation Care Prayer
God, maker of marvels,
you weave the planet and all its creatures together in kinship;
your unifying love is revealed
in the interdependence of relationships
in the complex world that you have made.
Save us from the illusion that humankind is separate and alone,
and join us in communion with all inhabitants of the universe;
through Jesus Christ, our Redeemer,
who topples the dividing walls by the power of your Holy Spirit,
and who lives and reigns with you, for ever and ever. Amen.
-Liturgical Materials for Honoring God in Creation
Reported to the 78th General Convention.
Pledge of Commitment
To Protect and Heal God’s Creation
We have come to renew our covenant with God and with one another in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
We have come to help protect God’s creation.
We have come as followers of Jesus to commit ourselves anew to one another and to heal
injustice and poverty.
We have come to stand together against all threats to life.
We have come to discover some new beauty every day in God’s creation:
the sunrise and sunset, birds, flowers and trees, rainbows in the sky, the stars, the many forms of life in the forest.
We have come to listen to the “music of the universe”-
water flowing over rocks, the wind, trees bending in the wind, raindrops pattering the roof.
We will remember always that God speaks to us through the beauty of his creation,
and we will try our best to answer God’s call to reverence all that he has created.
Thank you, God,
for birds and animals, fish and insects,
things that slither, glide and scuttle,
in all their wonderful diversity.
Thank you for the working animals who share our load,
the livestock who help to feed us,
and the pets who keep us company.
Thank you for the wildlife
of rivers, lakes and oceans,
of desert, bush and rainforest.
Show us how to care for their habitat,
and teach us to treat all your creatures kindly,
for you have made them all. Amen
Confession & Absolution: Stewardship of creation
Holy God, Creator and Lover of all that is,
we confess to you that we have sinned.
We have failed in our care for the land and its creatures,
we have been greedy, destructive, and wasteful
of the resources you entrusted to us.
Polluted air and water,
eroded soil and salty earth,
birds and animals deprived of habitat,
and neighbours left hungry and thirsty by our selfishness:
all these cry out against us.
We do not know how to restore what we have damaged,
and we repent in sorrow and distress.
Forgive us, we pray, and have mercy.
Give us grace to change our ways,
to make amends,
and to work together for the healing of the world,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Restoration of creation
Our Saviour died and rose again
so that for all who live in him
there is a new creation.
Therefore I declare to you:
your sins are forgiven,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen. Send out your Spirit, O Lord.
Renew the hearts of your people.
Renew the face of the earth.
© The Anglican Church of Australia
Prayer to Care for Our Common Home
Father of all,
Creator and ruler of the universe,
You entrusted your world to us as a gift.
Help us to care for it and all people,
that we may live in right relationship–
with one another,
and with creation.
Christ our Lord,
both divine and human,
You lived among us and died for our sins.
Help us to imitate your love for the human family
by recognizing that we are all connected—
to our brothers and sisters around the world,
to those in poverty impacted by environmental devastation,
and to future generations.
giver of wisdom and love,
You breathe life in us and guide us.
Help us to live according to your vision,
stirring to action the hearts of all—
individuals and families,
communities of faith,
and civil and political leaders.
Triune God, help us to hear the cry of those in poverty, and the cry of the earth, so that we may together care for our common home.
– This prayer from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is based on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home
Contemporary Interpretation of the Beatitudes inspired by Laudato Si’
- Blessed are those who heal the wounded earth for they will be restored to right relationship with all of creation.
- Blessed are those who hold the space for dialogue with the natural world, God, and each other, for they will hear the fullness of life.
- Blessed are those who repent for life lost at human hands, for they will be forgiven by the Cosmic Christ.
- Blessed are those who enter into relationship with the natural world, for they will know the intrinsic value of all of God’s Creation.
- Blessed are those who discern the voice of Creation for they will receive the will of God in a language not our own.
- Blessed are those who see with the eyes of their heart for their vision will imagine the potential for new life to emerge.
- Blessed are those who nurture the needs of the living and nonliving world, for they will be nourished in body and spirit.
- Blessed are those who live simply, for their discipline will bring harmony with the rhythms of life.
- Blessed are those who cultivate a life of prayer for they will know an inner cosmos that honors the outer world.
- Blessed are those who participate in civil affairs for they will bring the cry and song of the earth to systems of power and policy.
- Blessed are those who practice gratitude for they will receive the gift of abundance.
– From the Steering committee for the Global Catholic Climate Movement, January 2017
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Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console:
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love:
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to
– Attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi
A Prayer for Peace
We join our cries today with all people who suffer violence, both around the
world and in our own country,
With those who have seen too much violence, too much war, displacement,
We cry out for peace, stability, and healing.
We cry out that neighbors may live as neighbors, as we were meant to live.
For whatever our religion, race or culture,
When we take up arms against our neighbor, or curse our neighbor,
We shame ourselves before you.
So, we turn in prayer toward our neighbors who are in great need.
In solidarity with these sisters and brothers, we cry out to you:
Let there be joy where there is mourning.
Let there be hope where there is fear.
Let there be stillness where there is violence.
And let there be peace.
A just and lasting peace.
Lord, your grace abounds.
May it rest upon us all,
Today and always.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end war:
For we know You made the world in a way
That we must find our own path of peace
Within ourselves and with our neighbor.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to root out prejudice:
For You have already given us eyes
With which to see the good in all people
If we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation:
For You have already given us the resources
With which to feed the entire world
If we would only use them wisely.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair:
For You have already given us the power
To clear away slums and to give hope
If we would only use our power justly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease:
For You have already given us great minds
With which to search out cures and healing
If we would only use them constructively.
Therefore we pray to You, instead O God,
For strength, determination, and will power,
To do instead of just to pray
To become instead of merely to wish.
– Rabbi Jack Riemer
A Prayer for the End of Violence
God of life, source of hope,
the violence within our world, our communities, our families, in our very selves
is destroying your creation.
Make still the restless spirit with me that is self-seeking.
Stir within my heart a renewed Spirit of reverence, respect, and reconciliation.
Give me strength to break the cycle of violence by realizing that peace begins with me.
God of reconciliation, passionate for your whole creation,
impel us to seek your guiding hand in leading us to forgiveness, pardon, and peace.
Give us the courage to hear every story of every person with dignity and respect.
Help us that we might work to remove every structure that provokes, promotes, and
Give us the heart that holds a place for all those who oppose us or who call us enemy.
Help us by your grace in the ministry of reconciliation you have given us to do;
to heal and make whole.
Let the word of reconciliation be in our mouths and in our hearts
that your peace might be present to all. Amen.
Inspired by Prayer of St. Francis
Creator of all, make me a person of peace.
Where there is oppression, let me bring equality;
Where there is abuse, dignity;
Where there is fragmentation, unity;
Where there is exploitation, justice;
Where there is conflict, resolution;
Where there is discrimination, mutuality;
Where there is violence, vision;
Where there is powerlessness, power.
Grant that I may not so much seek to compete
As to collaborate; to exclude as to include,
To dominate as to complement.
For it is in healing that we are healed;
It is in reconciling, that we are reconciled;
It is in our common bond, that we become whole.
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer for international Day of Peace
Gracious God, we ask for your help in bringing about peace among all nations. As stewards of
peace, we work to build loving relationships with our neighbors, but we need your help in
bringing about world peace. Help our local peaceful relationships to serve as a guide for the
desired peace between nations. Help our global leaders to hear the cries of peace from their
people and act on those cleas. Help our national differences to be overcome through an
understanding of others and a desire for peace and justice. We ask this through your peaceful
-CHA, Catholic Health Association
A Franciscan Prayer for Peace and Reconciliation
We submit ourselves and our prayer to
the Lord God.
God most holy, you have given all
creatures salvation and forgiveness;
look upon us, who have been
consecrated in the name of your prophets
and of those you have called us to
In a world often restless and violent,
may we be messengers of glad tidings to
the poor, heralds of mercy and
Let us not harden our hearts
as our ancestors did in the desert,
but may we welcome your grace and
truth, with the courage of Abraham and
Moses, Sarah and Miriam, and of
countless other witnesses of
symbols of your eternal offer of
May your word enter the marrow of our
bones; may it illuminate the paths of
may it teach us to build communities of
faith open to ever greater
May it teach us the way of
To You, Most High, all Powerful, Good
Prayer of Remembrance for Hiroshima and Nagasaki
O God, the Creator of this beautiful planet
and all that dwells in it,
we now pause to remember the souls
of those who perished in the atomic bombings
and those who suffer from radiation even now.
We join our hearts and voices together
to pray for peace everywhere.
May the deadly power of nuclear arsenals
never be unleashed again upon your sacred creation.
May such weapons of mass and indiscriminate annihilations
be forever banned and eliminated from the face of the the
Forgive our silence, O God,
and enable your Church to raise its prophetic voices
to speak against the madness of nuclear pursuits
Renew our commitment to be faithful stewards
of your beautiful creation
and vehicles of peace.
In the name of Christ, our Prince of Peace. Amen.
– Written by Rev. Nobu Hanaoka, United Methodist minister
Human Dignity and Human Rights Prayers
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Prayer for a New Society
All-nourishing God, your children cry for help
Against the violence of our world:
Where children starve for bread and feed on weapons;
Starve for vision and feed on drugs;
Starve for love and feed on videos;
Starve for peace and die murdered in our streets.
Creator God, timeless preserver of resources,
Forgive us for the gifts that we have wasted.
Renew for us what seems beyond redemption;
Call order and beauty to emerge again from chaos.
Convert our destructive power into creative service;
Help us to heal the woundedness of our world.
Liberating God, release us from the demons of violence.
Free us today from the disguised demon of deterrence
That puts guns by our pillows and missiles in our skies.
Free us from all demons that blind and lunt our spirits;
Cleanse us from all justifications for violence and war;
Open our narrowed hearts to the suffering and the poor.
Abiding God, loving renewer of the human spirit,
Unfold our violent fists into peaceful hands;
Stretch our sense of family to include our neighbors;
Stretch our sense of neighbor to include our enemies
Until our response to you finally respects and embraces
All creation as precious sacraments of your presence.
Hear the prayer of all your starving children.
– Pax Christi USA
“In My Prayer”
In my prayer,
Make me a baby girl
Who when born is considered to be a burden or a curse on the family-
That I may know what it is to feel unwanted.
In my prayer,
Make me a girl whose brothers are the only ones sent to school –
That I may understand:
before our creator we are equal; still one is deprived.
In my prayer,
Make me a young girl who is not married –
That I may know the fear
Of how property will hinder my choice for marriage.
In my prayer,
Make me a young girl married in a family exchange –
That I may experience how miserable it is
To marry a person of double or triple my age.
In my prayer,
Make me a widow who has no source of earning –
That I may understand:
Without any source of income, how can I bring sweets for my children?
In my fast, make me an empty bowl –
That you may fill the hollow space in me with love.
In my almsgiving, make me a grain of rice –
That in the company of others, my gifts may feed a starving world.
O our Lord, give me strength –
That I can share the sadness of my fellow human beings and bring a light of hope for them.
– by Attique Swati, Pakistan:From Prayer Without Borders, page 32, Catholic Relief Services, 2004.
Leader: O Holy One, you who are known by many names,
We pray for all those in our world
Who are suffering from injustice:
Group 1: For those who are discriminated against
Because of their race, color or religion;
For those imprisoned for working
For the relief of oppression;
Group 2: For those who are hounded
For speaking the inconvenient truth;
For those tempted to violence
As a cry against overwhelming hardship;
Group 1: For those deprived of reasonable
Health and education;
For those suffering from hunger and famine;
For those too weak to help themselves
And who have no one else to help them;
Group 2: For the unemployed who cry out
For work but do not find it.
We pray for anyone of our acquaintance
Who is personally affected by injustice.
ALL: Forgive us, Lord, if we unwittingly share in
The conditions or in a system that perpetuates
Show us how we can serve others
And make your love practical by washing their feet.
– A prayer of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
A Prayer for the Poor
Who is Jesus to me?
Jesus is the Word made Flesh.
Jesus is the Victim,
offered for our sins on the Cross.
Jesus is the Bread of Life – to be eaten.
Jesus is the Hungry – to be fed.
Jesus is the Thirsty – to be satiated.
Jesus is the Naked – to be clothed.
Jesus is the Homeless – to be taken in.
Jesus is the Drunkard – to listen to him.
Jesus is the Sick – to be healed.
Jesus is the Beggar – to give him a smile.
Jesus is the Old – to be served.
Jesus is the Lonely – to be loved.
Jesus is the Way – to be walked.
– Mother Teresa
Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe for Justice
Most merciful mother, you came to tell
us of your compassion through St. Juan
Diego, whom you called the littlest and
dearest of your sons. Give your strength and protection
to all who live in poverty today, especially
the young, elderly, and vulnerable. Plead for them
To the Father, that they might experience the
Divine Love tangibly in their daily lives, and that all
Who work for justice on behalf of the poor might
Grow in fortitude and humility. In these ways,
Manifest your charity and concern in our lives, that
the weeping of humanity may be heard, and all our
Suffering, pain and misfortune may be filled with
divine comfort and healing. May we always know
the peace of being in the cradle of your arms and
bring us safely home to your son, Jesus.
Opening Prayer based on Luke 1:46-55
READING: Luke 1: 46-55
LEADER: Praise the One who has heard the cry of the poor.
ALL: Who has lifted up the weak
And given them strength.
LEADER: Praise the One who has fed the hungry
and satisfied the longing of those in need.
ALL: Who has held with tenderness
the orphan and widow
and given the stranger a land and home.
LEADER: The powerful have stumbled
and the rich are burdened and fall.
The proud are alone in their confusion.
ALL: While before our eyes,
the weak are upheld in kindness.
The poor are called by name;
The hungry are nourished
With bread that never grows old.
As people of faith, we gather not only to form a just society but
to transform unjust structures. We gather to hear the voices of
the poor as they endure the pain of oppression. May we, together
with them, and with a sense of hope, imagine a new future.
We gather in community to give each other the strength not to
remain silent in the midst of pain, civil in the midst of chaos,
apathetic in the midst of great need.
We gather to be both formed and transformed.
May we never cease to hear the cry of the poor
Within the silence of our hearts, and in
hearing that cry, work to find new and creative
ways to ensure the basic rights for a life with
dignity for all of God’s children.
Adapted Lord’s Prayer
Leader: Our God who is in heaven
and in all of us here on earth;
the hungry, the oppressed, the excluded. Holy is your name.
All: May your reign come.
May your reign come and your will be done;
in our choice to struggle with the complexities of this world
and to confront greed and the desire for power in ourselves,
in our nation and in the global community.
May your reign come.
Give us this day our daily bread;
bread that we are called to share,
bread that you have given us abundantly
and that we must distribute fairly, ensuring security for all.
May your reign come.
Forgive us our trespassesl
times we have turned away from the struggles
of other people and countries,
times we have thought only of our own security.
May your reign come.
Lead us not into temptation;
the temptation to close our minds, ears, and eyes
to the unfair global systems that create
larger and larger gaps between the rich and the poor;
the temptation to think it is too difficult
to bring about more just alternatives.
May your reign come.
Deliver us from evil;
the evil of a world where violence happens in your name,
where wealth for a few is more important
than economic rights for all,
where gates and barriers between people
are so hard to bring down.
May your reign come.
May your reign come, for yours is the kingdom,
the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
– Jane Deren
From many, One family of God
Lord Jesus, when you multiplied the loaves and fishes, you provided
more than food for the body, you offered us the gift of yourself,
the gift which satisfies every hunger and quenches every thirst! Your
disciples were filled with fear and doubt, but you poured out your
love and compassion on the migrant crowd, welcoming them as
brothers and sisters.
Lord Jesus, today you call us to welcome the members of God’s
family who come to our land to escape oppression, poverty, persecution,
Violence, and war. Like your disciples, we too are filled with
fear and doubt and even suspicion. We build barriers in our hearts
and in our minds.
Lord Jesus, help us by your grace,
- To banish fear from our hearts, that we may embrace each
of your children as our own brother and sister;
- To welcome migrants and refugees with joy and generosity,
while responding to their many needs;
- To realize that you call all people to your holy mountain to
learn the ways of peace and justice;
- To share of our abundance as you spread a banquet
- To give witness to your love for all people, as we celebrate
the many gifts they bring.
We praise you and give you thanks for the family you have called
together from so many people. We see in this human family a
reflection of the divine unity of the one Most Holy Trinity in whom we
make our prayers: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
– Prayer by Marcia Timmel. Copyright © 2007 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.
Give Us This Day
Give us this day our daily bread,
O Father in heaven, and grant that we
who are filled with good things
from your open hand, may never close our hearts
to the hungry, the homeless and the poor.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
And of the Holy Spirit.
– Abbey of New Clairvaux
Honor the Body of Christ
Do you wish to honor the body of Christ?
Do not despise him when he is naked.
Do not honor him here in the building with silks, only to neglect
him outside, when he is suffering from cold and nakedness.
For he who said, “This is my Body,” is the same who said, “You saw
me, a hungry man, and you did not give me to eat.”
Of what use is it to load the table of Christ? Feed the hungry and
then come and decorate the table.
You are making a golden chalice and you do not give a cup of cold
The temple of your afflicted brother’s body is more precious than
this temple (the church).
The Body of Christ becomes for you an altar. It is more holy than the
altar of stone on which you celebrate the holy sacrifice.
You are able to contemplate this alter everywhere, in the street and
in the open squares.
– Saint John Chrysostom
Lord Open Our Eyes
Lord, open our eyes,
That we may see you in our brothers and sisters.
Lord, open our ears,
That we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold,
the frightened, the oppressed.
Lord, open our hearts,
That we may love each other as you love us.
Renew in us your spirit
Lord, free us and make us one.
– Kathryn Spink
Prayer for an End to Racism
Lord, Jesus Christ
who reached across the ethnic boundaries
between Samaritan, Roman and Jew
who offered fresh sight to the blind and freedom to captives,
help us to break down the barriers in our community,
enable us to see the reality of racism and bigotry,
and free us to challenge and uproot it
from ourselves, our society and our world.
– John Bucki, S.J.
Prayer for Women Everywhere
With Miriam, who with Moses and Aaron
led the people of Israel out of Egypt;
with Deborah, who judged the people of Israel
in truth and righteousness;
with Ruth, who was an example of faithfulness;
with Mary Magdalen, who first
brought the good news of the resurrection;
with Phoebe, deacon and leader of the early Church;
with Priscilla, who labored with Aquila
in the service of Christ;
with Dorcas, who spent herself doing good
and helping the poor;
with Mary the mother of Jesus,
who said “yes” with no holding back.
With these, our sisters,
We pray for women everywhere who see
their families divided,
their children sad;
we pray for women who against all the odds
create a good place
for their families to live in;
we pray for women who,
when tempted to give up,
find new strength from their sisters
and go on.
– B. D’Arcy
Do Not Edit / Do Not Delete
Prayer for Enlightenment
Almighty, eternal, just, and merciful God,
grant us in our misery [the grace] to do for You alone what we know You want us to do, and always to desire what pleases You.
Thus, inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened, and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
And, by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You, Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity, and are glorified God all-powerful forever and ever.
– From ‘A Letter to the Entire Order’ Francis and Clare: The Complete Works. Regis J. Armstrong, OFM CAP. and Ignatius C. Brady, OFM (Paulist Press. New York. Ramsey. Tor)
Christ has no body but yours
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
– St. Teresa of Ávila (attributed)
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, excerpted from Hearts on Fire
Prayer for Detachment
I beg of you, my Lord,
To remove anything which separates me from you,
and you from me.
Remove anything that makes me unworthy
Of your sight, your control, your reprehension;
Of your speech, and conversation,
Of your benevolence and love.
Cast from me every evil
That stands in the way of my seeing you,
Hearing, tasting, savoring, and touching you;
Fearing and being mindful of you;
Knowing, trusting, loving and possessing you;
Being conscious of your presence
And, as far as may be, enjoying you.
This is what I ask for myself
And earnestly desire from you. Amen.
– Blessed Peter Faber, SJ
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
– the common name for a prayer authored by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). The first three lines are the most known and prayed.
Do not smile and say you are already with us.
Millions do not know you, and to us who do, what is the difference?
What is the point of your presence if our lives do not alter?
Change our lives; shatter our complacency.
Make your word our life’s purpose.
Take away the quietness of a clear conscience.
Press us uncomfortably. For only thus that other peace is made, your peace.
– Archbishop Dom Helder Camara
The Method of Centering Prayer
– From Contemplative Outreach, Ltd
Lenten Journey to Easter
We walk this Lenten journey
with immigrants and refugees,
lost, unsure of their journey’s end,
still longing for a home.
We walk with those in poverty,
unable to live lives of dignity,
besieged by hunger and fear,
trying to hold on day by day.
We walk with those mourning
what is happening to God’s creation,
calling us all to better care and stewardship
of the earth, its creatures, and all growing things.
We walk with women who are trafficked,
who are abused, who are harassed,
who still live in the silences,
and who want to flee the darkness.
We walk with peacemakers,
walking a very rocky road toward peace
when so much conflict rages
and so many fan the flames of violence.
We walk with all those carrying burdens,
yet we walk in faith and hope.
Despite the suffering of the Cross,
we walk toward an Easter dawning.
We move toward the seemingly impossible
Resurrection, a time of justice and peace.
We walk, called forward through the darkness
By the Risen Christ.
In his name we pray. Amen.
– Jane Deren, PhD, Education for Justice
Ask Us to Dance
Lord, come ask us to dance.
We’re ready to dance this errand for you,
These accounts to do, this dinner to prepare, this vigil to keep
When we would prefer to sleep.
We’re ready to dance for you the dance of work,
The dance of heat, and later the dance of cold.
If certain melodies are often played in the minor key, we won’t
That they’re sad;
If others leave us a little breathless, we won’t tell you
That they knock the wind out of us.
And if other people bump into us, we’ll take it with a
Knowing well that that’s the sort of thing that happens when
Make us live our life
Not like a game of chess, where every move is calculated,
Not like a contest, where everything is difficult,
Not like a math problem, which makes our head hurt,
But like an endless celebration, where our meeting with you
is constantly new,
Like a ball,
Like a dance,
In the arms of your grace,
In the universal music of love.
Lord, ask us to dance.
– Madeleine Delbrêl, We the Ordinary People of the Streets
Madeleine Delbrêl (1904-1964), a French laywoman and social worker, converted to Catholicism at the age of twenty and was an award-winning poet and writer.
Prayer (Author of our work)
(All) O Holy God, Source of All, Author of the heavens and the
Earth, Author of all that is — Be the author of our work.
(side 1) Inspire us with dreams that speak of your dream.
Motivate us with passion and courage to do what must be done
even if it is hard or unfamiliar.
Make us mindful always that it is only love that matters.
(side 2) Remind us of those for whom love is not real – the forgotten,
the exploited, the poor, and abandoned.
Let us live and celebrate your love so that all know you are real.
(side 1) Prepare us for the journey with the tools of humility,
patience, respect, reverence, wisdom and love — always love!
(side 2) Let us be mindful that You are present with us,
and each moment is holy;
And that what we do and don’t do
can reflect Your holy embrace to this precious world.
(side 1) Unsettle us with new questions and new possibilities.
Empower us to risk both disagreement and a uniting Spirit.
Let us be drawn into a oneness and a maturity that does not settle
for an easy peace.
(side 2) And give us the wisdom to recognize and embrace a truth
that draws us together and sends us forth.
(All) O Holy God, Source of all, Author of the heavens and the
earth, Author of all that is — Be the Author of our work. AMEN.
Prayer During a Meeting
bless us as we gather today for this meeting.
Guide our minds and hearts
so that we will work for the good of our community
and be a help to all people.
Teach us to be generous in our outlook,
courageous in face of difficulty,
and wise in our decisions.
We give you praise and glory, Lord our God,
for ever and ever. Amen.
– Blessings and Prayers for Home and Family
Mother Teresa had this on her wall…
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are king, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, some could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It never was between you and them anyway.
Eye of Love
When we look at the world with God’s “eye of love,” we see that: we
humans are children of a loving God who invests utmost confidence
in us; we are brothers and sisters, not strangers or enemies; all else
on the face of the earth is God’s gift given to all of us for our
common good and our responsible stewardship; the greatest among
us is the one who serves the rest; we “find” our lives by “losing”
them in love of God and love of neighbor; hostility and hatred are
healed through forgiveness, not retaliation and revenge; the world’s
destiny is decided – it is not in doubt – it is the Kingdom of God in
which all tears are wiped away and we rejoice together, as a family
around the Banquet Table of the Lord.
– James L. Connor, S.J.
Hope is not the same as joy
Hope is not the same as joy when things are going well, or
willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for
early success, but rather an ability to work for something to succeed.
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It’s not the
conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that
something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. It is this
hope, above all, that gives us strength to live and to continually try
new things, even in conditions that seem hopeless.
Life is too precious to permit its devaluation by living pointlessly,
emptily, without meaning, without love and, finally, without hope.
– Václav Havel
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