Cabinet Prayers for the 2014 - 2015 Academic Year


Important Work

Father:

You created and inhabit all the dimensions of space and time.
Your thoughts are the foundations of all natural laws,
through which you formed atoms and galaxies,
creatures and societies, ideas and philosophies.
You built within us an unquenchable desire to know,
to understand all things, to seek that which limitless, above and beyond us.
How wonderful that our deepest yearnings all lead us to You.
And yet - through Your Son You told us to call you Father!

Bless and approve, we pray,
the important work that we do here today.
Help us to remember that our greatness comes not from the contributions we make
but from the Cause we serve.
As we seek specific actions in pursuit of our efforts,
bless each of us with the wonder and stillness,
devotion and peace that come from knowing that we do Your will.

- Steve Herbert

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Revel in Summer

Dear God,

Let us revel in summer.
Let us soak up the long days and warm sun.
May our feet walk on sandy beaches
and our heads rest on thick grass under blue skies.
May we listen to and marvel at the singing of the birds
and stop to watch blissful children at play
This summer, God, may our breathing slow and our hearts open.
God help us to be present to all that is so that we might best see all that might be.

- David Johnson

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Forever Young

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

- Adapted from the song lyrics of "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan; Offered by Joe Feldhaus

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Make Us Uncomfortable

Come Lord
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
flesh of our flesh,
blood of our blood
and our life's purpose.
Take away the quietness
of a clear conscience
Press up uncomfortably.
For only thus is
that other peace made, Your peace.

- Archbishop Dom Helder Camara; Offered by Greg Christopher

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Mindfulness

We pray for mindfulness,
For the attentiveness
That leads to discernment
of the way of the One.

We pray for mindfulness
Of our own hearts and minds.
Help us to be aware
Of how we react in thought,
Speech and action.
Help us to be aware
How we can
Always be open to the grace
That can shape us in new ways.

We pray for mindfulness
Of what is happening to others.
Help us to be present
To their sorrow and suffering.
Help us to be aware
Of the injustices that
Touch other lives.

We pray for mindfulness
To be aware of how the One
Is calling us
to be agents for peace and justice.
Help us to be aware
Of the words we are called to speak,
Of the actions we are called to take part in,
Of the compassion we are called to offer
In a world so wounded, so in need.

- Adapted from a prayer at Education for Justice; Offered by Scott Chadwick

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Teach Me To Listen

Teach me to listen, O God, to those nearest me, my family, my friends, my co-workers.
Help me to be aware that no matter what words I hear, the message is, "Accept the
person I am. Listen to me." Teach me to listen, my caring God, to those far from me- the whisper of the hopeless,
the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished.
Teach me to listen, O God my Mother, to myself. Help me to be less afraid to trust the
voice inside - in the deepest part of me.
Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice - in busyness and in boredom, in
certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence.
Teach me, Lord, to listen.

- John Veltri, S.J. Offered by Donna Salak

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A Franciscan Blessing

May God bless us with discomfort
at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that we may live deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger
at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears
to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them
and turn their pain to joy.
And, may God bless us with enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in this world
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done,
to bring justice and kindness to all our children and to the poor.

- Beth Amyot

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A Buddhist Parable

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha said to one of his disciples, "I am thirsty, get me some water from that lake."

The disciple walked up to the lake. Upon getting there, he noticed that right at that moment, an ox cart had started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water looked very muddy and turbid.

So he came back and told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink." After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water. The disciple obediently went back to the lake.

He found that the lake was still muddy. He returned and informed Buddha. After some time, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake with shimmering clear water as the mud had settled. So he collected some in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, "See what happened? You let the turbid water be... and the mud settled down on its own. The mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, give yourself time. It will settle down on its own."

- Brian Till

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Pondering in Our Hearts

Early on in his Gospel, Luke twice mentions Mary doing something extraordinary, namely, pondering something "in her heart." The first occasion is after the departure of the shepherds at the Nativity; the second is when she and Joseph discover the child Jesus speaking with the Temple elders. Luke's phrase is telling. For Mary to "ponder" something "in her heart," is not simply for her to remember the details or get her facts straight. Rather, it seems more a way to take in something in its totality and to let it sink down deep, into the heart, the place where it can change you.

Were we to be like Mary, how might we ponder in our hearts what we ourselves have seen and heard this past Christmas season so that, before it closes, we might learn something more from it than we did the first time through? Something which might just sink down deep and somehow change us.

Perhaps these questions might be of some help.

What was the best, the greatest, gift you received this year - not the brightest gift or the shiniest or the fastest or the most expensive gift, but the best gift, the greatest gift? Who gave it to you? And do they even know they did?

What was the best gift you gave this year, one that may have cost you a little or one which may have cost you a lot. And the little or a lot that it might have cost you might not have been money at all.

If there was something you did in the last several weeks which was just what someone else needed, just when they needed it, just what was it?

If there was one time when all your troubles, your cares and worries, seemed to you far, far away - what was that time? And what chased your troubles away?

If there was one glance you had of someone else that allowed you to see them fresh, as if for the very first time, yet see them as well radiant with all that they mean to you - what was that time? And who was that person?

Was there ever a time - perhaps in a crowd and surrounded with people or perhaps by yourself - that it struck you that you are a lucky, lucky person? What was that time? Who were those people around you, if people there were? And what seems to have brought that feeling on?

If you said one thing exactly right, exactly true and straight from your heart, just what exactly did you say? And to whom did you say it? And why?

If within the last few weeks you brushed a tear from your eye secretly so that no one else could see it, why did that tear come? And what did that tear mean?

When do you feel the proudest? The happiest? The most content? Indeed, the most yourself?

If you could look back over the many, many moments of this tender season now ending and pick out one moment from among them all - just one -pick the one where somehow you knew in your heart that it was all true: the angels indeed did sing, the shepherds indeed did worship, the kings indeed did bring their gifts and bow low - and all of this because at that one moment you felt almost held aloft by kind and mighty hands; and if you could take that one moment and hold it in your heart forever, take it out and gaze upon it from time to time as if to look upon a kind of snow globe, just what would that one moment be?

- Fr. Michael Graham, S.J.

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To Know God's Will

May it please the supreme and divine Goodness
to give us all abundant grace
ever to know his most holy will
and perfectly to fulfill it.

- St. Ignatius of Loyola; Offered by Terry Richards

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In This Workplace

My heavenly father, as i enter this work place, i bring your presence
with me.

I speak your peace, your grace, your mercy and your perfect order
into my work. I acknowledge your power over all that will be done,
spoken, thought and decided within these walls. Lord, I thank you for
the gifts you have blessed me with. I commit to use them responsibly
in your honor. Give me a fresh supply of strength to do my job. Anoint
my projects, ideas, and energy, so that even my smallest
accomplishment may bring you glory

Lord, when I am confused, guide me. When I am weary, energize me.
When I am burned out, infuse me with the light of the Holy Spirit. May
the work that I do and the way I do it bring faith, joy and a smile to all
that I come in contact with today. And oh Lord, When I leave this
place, give me traveling mercy. Bless my family and home to be in
order as I left it. Lord, I thank you for everything you've done,
everything you are doing, and everything you are going to do. In the
name of our Lord I pray, with much love and thanksgiving.

- Bob Sheeran

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My Symphony

To live content with small means.
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion.
To be worthy, not respectable,
and wealthy, not rich.
To study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly,
to listen to stars, birds, babes and sages,
with open heart,
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasions, never hurry.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden, and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my Symphony.

- William E. Channing; Offered by Connie Perme

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Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of all blessings,
source of all life,
giver of all grace:

We thank you for the gift of life:
for the breath that sustains life,
for the food of this earth that nurtures life,
for the love of family and friends
without which there would be no life.

We thank you for the mystery of creation:
for the beauty that the eye can see,
for the joy that the ear may hear,
for the unknown that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder,
for the expanse of space that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves.

We thank you for setting us in communities:
for families who nurture our becoming,
for friends who love us by choice,
for companions at work, who share our burdens and daily tasks,
for strangers who welcome us into their midst,
for people from other lands who call us to grow in understanding,
for children who lighten our moments with delight,
for the unborn, who offer us hope for the future.

We thank you for this day:
for life and one more day to love,
for opportunity and one more day to work for justice and peace,
for neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be loved,
for your grace and one more experience of your presence,
for your promise:
to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation.

For these, and all blessings,
we give you thanks, eternal, loving God
through you we pray.

- Vienna Cobb Anderson; Offered by Gary Massa

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Walking My Path

Seeking God in my own time and place
there is something Holy in my seeking
My seeking -
the unknown path I walk
steady and slow my pace
sure - and steady
purposeful steps taken
I feel each one touch the ground
there is a holiness to it -
I feel it-
the confidence comes from
accepting my own rhythm -
with Grace of the creative universe
- slow - and constantly moving
steady, strong, sure
as obstacles come to me
I wait, pause, reflect,
and then take my own trusted
course of action -
not always welcomed
and yet - my assured path
step, step
I move again
comfortable within myself
assured that I have wisdom
in God's guidance
listening and leading
moving deeper within
leaving some behind
with a prayer for peace
and taking another brave step toward
Wonder, Awe, Unknown -
where God dwells
beyond my understanding

- Annette L. Sherwood; Offered by Annette Marksberry

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Thank You

"If the only prayer you say in your life is 'thank you' that would be enough"- Meister Eckhart

Sometimes life can be hard. Sometimes life can be really hard for what feels like a really long time. No matter how often you read or hear that life is suppose to be about love, about finding and bringing joy to yourself and others, it can still feel like the hard and sad times are overwhelming you with oppression. Are these times are here to stay?

No matter how often you practice all of the good mental health and happiness strategies of generating an attitude of gratitude, smiling and saying hello to everyone you meet or pass, giving to others what it is that you need most, or even pushing yourself into action instead of remaining curled in a fetal position for protection, you remain paralyzed in the pain of the really hard time that is your life in this present moment.

When all else fails, offer this prayer: Thank you

Even if you don't believe in God or a power greater than yourself, say Thank you.

Even if you aren't thankful in your heart and you feel like a phony, say Thank you.

Even if you're so angry you want to spit and scream, say Thank you.

Even if you have no more hope, faith or energy for anything else, say Thank you.

Try falling asleep at night saying Thank you and waking in the morning saying Thank you. See how this prayer alone can change, shift and help your mental health and happiness.

Thank you.

- Dr. Nancy Buck; Offered by Kelly Leon

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A Prayer of Celebration for University Station

Loving God,

We give thanks and rejoice in the patience, persistence and perseverance that Xavier leadership, friends and many others demonstrated in making University Station and exemplary effort resulting in a transformative development that will benefit many.... the people of Xavier...our surrounding community...and beyond.

May we find satisfaction in this success,
and learn from the challenges, some lessons.

May our experience of trust, collaboration and commitment to a shared purpose strengthen our bonds...deepen our commitment to each other..... and to the mission of Xavier.... So that together.... we take on the considerable challenges ahead.... knowing that together there is power.

Grant each of us a sense of renewed strength in the coming days so that we may continue to serve you faithfully.

We ask this in your name.

- John Kucia; In celebration of the opening of University Station, 9-22-14

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Buddha and the Lake Reflection

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha said to one of his disciples, "I am thirsty, get me some water from that lake."

The disciple walked up to the lake. Upon getting there, he noticed that right at that moment, a bullock cart had started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water looked very muddy and turbid.

So he came back and told Buddha, "The water in there is very muddy. I don't think it is fit to drink." After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water. The disciple obediently went back to the lake.

He found that the lake was still muddy. He returned and informed Buddha. After some time, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back. The disciple reached the lake to find the lake with shimmering clear water as the mud had settled. So he collected some in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, "See what happened? You let the turbid water be... and the mud settled down on its own. The mind is also like that! When it is disturbed, give yourself time. It will settle down on its own."

- Lynda Kilbourne

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The Hour is Striking

Da neigt die Stunde und ruhrt mich an

The hour is striking so close above me,
so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now: there's a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.

I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met.

Iche Iebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world. I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I've been circling for thousands of years
and I still don't know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?

- From Rainer Maria Rilke's Rilke's Gook of Hours; Offered by Lori Johnson

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