May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you
May you be confident knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
- attributed to St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Theresa of Avila
Drenched in Holiness: Prayer for a New Year
On this day I ask You to grant this request?
May I know who I am and what I am,
Every moment of every day.
May I be a catalyst for light and love,
And bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet.
May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict,
And the courage to speak my voice, even when I'm scared.
May I have the humility to follow my heart,
And the passion to live my soul's desires.
May I seek to know the highest truth
And dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self.
May I embrace and love the totality of myself?
My darkness as well as my light.
May I be brave enough to hear my heart?
To let it soften so that I may gracefully
Choose faith over fear.
Today is my day to surrender anything that stands
Between the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity.
May I be drenched in my Holiness
And engulfed by Your love.
May all else melt away.
And so it is.
At the Beginning of the Day
I find myself at the beginning of another day.
I do not know what it will bring.
Please help me to be ready for whatever it may be.
If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.
If I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.
I pray just for today, for these twenty-four hours,
for the ability to cooperate with others according to the way Jesus taught us to live.
"Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
May these words that he taught us become more than words.
Please free my thinking and feelings and the thinking and feelings of others,
from all forms of self-will, self-centeredness, dishonesty, and deception.
Along with my brothers and sisters,
I need this freedom to make my choices today according to your desires.
Send your Spirit to inspire me in time of doubt and indecision so that, together, we can walk along your path. Amen.
-J. Veltri, S.J.
Thank you for the gift of today.
Refresh me. Invite me to discover your presence
In each person that I meet
And every event that I encounter.
Teach me when to speak and when to listen
When to ponder and when to share.
In moments of challenge and decision
Attune my heart to the whisperings of your Wisdom.
As I undertake ordinary and unnoticed tasks,
Gift me with simple joy.
When my day goes well, may I rejoice.
When it grows difficult, surprise me with
When life is overwhelming, call me to
To restore your Peace and Harmony.
May my living today reveal your Goodness.
-Pat Bergen, C.S.J.
In Times of Transition
God of Love,
You are with us in every transition and change.
As we enter into this new era with excitement and even some anxiety,
we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding love.
We thank you for the gifts, talents and skills with which you have blessed us.
We thank you for the experiences that have brought us to this moment.
We thank you for the work of others that gives breadth and depth to our own work.
Be with us as we move forward, rejoicing with you and supporting one another.
We ask this in your Holy Name.
-Joseph P. Shadle
The Prayer of Oscar Romero
It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
It is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Nothing we do is complete,
Which is another way of saying that
The Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that should be said.
No prayer fully expressed our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
Knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produced effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
And there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
A step along the way,
An opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
But that is the difference
Between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
Ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future that is not our own.
-Archbishop Oscar Romero
We Awaken in Christ's Body
We awaken in Christ's body
As Christ awakens our bodies,
And my poor hand is Christ, He enters
My foot, and is infinitely me.
I move my hand, and wonderfully
My hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
Whole, seamless in His Godhood).
I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? Then
Open your heart to Him
And let yourself receive the one
Who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
We wake up inside Christ's body
Where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,
and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed
and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
he awakens as the Beloved in every last part of our body.
-Symeon the New Theologian
The Spirit of God is Always with Us at This Time, in This Place
We awaken in our time to a Universe which is holy,
to creation which is not an event in the past, but a living event of the present.
We enter a new mode of human presence where we are not merely observers,
but where each of us is a participant in this moment of evolution.
Like all other creatures, we carry with us Wisdom and Values, the dynamics of the Universe.
But unlike other creatures, we must choose whether and how we will live in harmony
within this sacred web of creation.
May we be open to the Source of All Being, Our God within and among us!
We have the capacity to wonder,
and to celebrate this great mystery of existence within such a magnificent Universe!
In us the Universe enters into a great celebration of itself.
We are part of the Dance, the Great Work, the Great liturgy which is the Universe unfolding.
Glory to You, O God, Source of All Being!
This great Liturgy finds expression at this moment in us,
gathered here in a posture of prayerful openness, with listening hearts, loving spirits and a holy wonder.
May the sacred web that unites us with each other, our God and all creation,
ignite communities of light and hope throughout the Earth.
May we be open to the Source of All Being, Our God within and among us!
Together We Pray:
O Gracious, gentle Spirit of Love,
Your energy permeates the Universe,
Igniting Earth with
Your Goodness, Truth and Beauty.
Open our minds and hearts
To a deeper awareness
Of our interconnectedness with You,
Each other and all creation.
May we experience
Your unique presence
Within the sacred web of creation.
Morning Prayer of Gratitude
Let our prayer this morning be one of gratitude. Gratitude did not make it into the list of four "cardinal virtues," but it is sometimes rightly recognized as a foundational virtue.
The group may respond, "For this we are grateful."
A Prayer of Hope
There are Christians
Who have hysterical reactions
As if the world had slipped out of God's hands.
They are violent
As if they were risking everything.
But we believe in history.
The world is not a roll of the dice
On its way toward chaos.
A new world has begun to happen
Since Christ has risen?
We rejoice in your definitive triumph
With our bodies still in the breach,
Our souls in tension;
We cry our first "Hurrah!"
Till eternity unfolds itself.
Your sorrow now has passed.
Your enemies have failed.
You are the definitive smile for humankind.
What matter the wait now for us?
We accept the struggle and the death,
Because you, our love, will not die!
We march behind you on the road to the future.
You are with us. You are our immortality?
Take away the sadness from our faces;
We are not in a game of chance?
You have the last word!
Beyond the crushing of our bones,
Now has begun the eternal "Alleluia!"
From the thousands of openings
In our wounded bodies and souls,
There now arises a triumphal song!
So teach us to give voice
To your new life throughout the world,
Because you dry the tears of the oppressed forever?
And death will disappear
-Luis Espinal, S.J.