Cabinet Prayers for the 2015-2016 Academic Year

A Prayer for World Peace, 1978

We pray for the power to be gentle;
the strength to be forgiving;
the patience to be understanding;
and the endurance to accept the consequences
of holding to what we believe to be right.

May we put our trust in the power of good to overcome evil
and the power of love to overcome hatred.

We pray for the vision to see and the faith to believe
in a world emancipated from violence,
a new world where fear shall no longer lead men or women to commit injustice,
nor selfishness make them bring suffering to others.

Help us to devote our whole life and thought and energy
to the task of making peace,
praying always for the inspiration and the power
to fulfill the destiny for which we and all men and women were created.

- Author Unknown; Offered by Beth Amyot

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Bodhisattva Prayer for Humanity

May I be a guard for those who need protection
A guide for those on the path
A boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood
May I be a lamp in the darkness
A resting place for the weary
A healing medicine for all who are sick
A vase of plenty, a tree of miracles
And for the boundless multitudes of living beings
May I bring sustenance and awakening
Enduring like the earth and sky
Until all beings are freed from sorrow
And all are awakened.

- Shantideva; Offered by Scott Chadwick

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Refresh Me

Gracious God, 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 new possibilities.
When life is overwhelming, call me to Sabbath moments to restore your Peace and Harmony.
May my living today reveal your Goodness.

- Offered by Janice Walker, adapted from Pat Bergen, C.S.J.

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A Parable About Cracked Pots

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak all the way back to your house."

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house." 

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. Working together we can plant some wonderful and valuable seeds.

Blessings to all my crackpot friends.

- Author Unknown; Offered by Linda Schoenstedt

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Help Us Enter the New Year

God of all time,help us enter the New Year quietly,
thoughtful of who we are to ourselves and to others,
mindful that our steps make an impact
and our words carry power.
May we walk gently.
May we speak only after we have listened well.
Creator of all life,
help us enter the New Year reverently,
aware that you have endowed
every creature and plant, every person and habitat
with beauty and purpose.
May we regard the world with tenderness.
May we honor rather than destroy.
Lower of all souls,
help us enter the New Year joyfully,
willing to laugh and dance and dream,
remembering our many gifts with thanks
and looking forward to blessings yet to come.
May we welcome your lavish love.
In this new year, may the grace and peace of God bless us now and in the days ahead.

- Vinita Hampton Wright, Managing Editor, Loyola Press

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Women in Our Lives

We remember that March is Women's History Month.
Thank you for all the cherished women in our lives and in our personal histories:

Let us visualize them:
Our grandmothers, mother, sisters, daughters, aunts, friends, colleagues, teachers, neighbors and others who have touched us deeply.
God, may women across the globe - both known and unknown to us - continue to be empowered, knowing the love you offer.


- Prayer of Sojourners ; Adapted and offered by Debra Mooney

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From the Discernment of Spirits

We must pay close attention to the course of our thoughts, and if the beginning, middle, and end are all good and directed to what is entirely right, it is a sign that they are inspired by the good angel. If the course of the thoughts suggested to us ends in something evil, or distracting, or less good than the soul had previously proposed to do; or if these thoughts weaken, disquiet, or disturb the soul by destroying the peace, tranquility, and quiet which it had before, this is a clear sign that they proceed from the evil spirit, the enemy of our progress and eternal salvation.

- From the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola ; Offered by Aaron Meis

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"The Guest House"

This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

- Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi; Prayer offered by Aaron Meis

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Family Reunion Prayer

Father God,

Thank you so much for bringing us all here together today.
Thank you so much for the wonderful blessing of our Xavier family.
Thank you for the similarities we have and the differences we enjoy.
Thank you for the wisdom of age and the energy of youth.
Thank you for the way you watch over us as individuals and the
way you release your love into us as a unit.
Come bless our time together.


- Prayer offered by Connie Perme and adapted from

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This prayer is based on the impressions of President Michael Graham SJ to the speech of Pope Benedict at the Catholic University - as published in the Xavier Alumni Magazine, Summer 2008.

"...To me, though, the somewhat surprising--but richest--part of his talk was the way he encouraged all of us present in our responsibilities as agents of your transformation. I guess you might say that, while his talk was certainly about Catholic education, it was even more emphatically to Catholic educators, and a moving and inspiring one at that. He posed important questions for us along the way: "Do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear? Are we ready to commit our entire self-intellect and will, mind and heart--to God? Do we accept the truth Christ reveals?"

He reminded us of the importance of our vocation as Catholic educators: "to form their conscience which, enriched by faith, opens a sure path to inner peace and respect for others" and of the beauty of that vocation as well, for our "profound responsibility to lead the young in truth is nothing less than an act of love."

It was his closing words, however, equal parts encouragement and challenge, that hit me the deepest and that I'll remember the longest: "To all of you I say: Bear witness to hope, Nourish your witness with prayer. Account for the hope that characterizes your lives by living the truth which you propose to your students. Help them to know and love the One you have encountered, whose truth and goodness you have experienced with joy."

I was not expecting Benedict to speak so directly to us, but it was good and wonderful that he did, as I heard many remark later. Something fluttered up inside me at his conclusions, so to speak, reminding me of why I do what I do, showing me hidden parts of it that I hadn't quite seen before in some ways and helping me in other ways to understand better things I've seen so long I take them too easily for granted."

- Gary Massa

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Pope Francis' Five Finger Prayer

Using the fingers on your hand, pray these intentions:

1.) The thumb is closest finger to you. So start praying for those who are closest to you. They are the persons easiest to remember. To pray for our dear ones is a "Sweet Obligation."

2.) The next finger is the index. Pray for those who teach you, instruct you and heal you. They need the support and wisdom to show direction to others. Always keep them in your prayers.

3.) The following finger is the tallest. It reminds us of our leaders, the governors and those who have authority. They need God's guidance.

4.) The fourth finger is the ring finger. Even though it may surprise you, it is our weakest finger. It should remind us to pray for the weakest, the sick or those plagued by problems. They need your prayers.

5.) And finally we have our smallest finger, the smallest of all. Your pinkie should remind you to pray for yourself. When you ate done praying for the other four groups, you will be able to see your own needs but in the proper perspective, and also you will be able to pray for your own needs in a better way.

- Offered by Annette Marksberry to honor Pope Francis' visit to the US

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As We Work Today

Hawai'i is the name the native people gave their homeland. It contains ha (the sacred breath of life that enlivens every living being and unites us all as one in spirit) and wai, which means water. So you might translate it to mean the place where breath and life arise out of the waters.

Living Lord, 
Be with us as we work today.
Fill this university with inspiration and energy.
Help us to work as a team, and bring out the best in each other.
May we be efficient and achieve all we need to, but also remember to rest.
May this place be full of fun and friendship
And may creativity and harmony inhabit this space.
Thank you for this new school year and the opportunity to work together.

- Kelly Leon

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A Petition for Leadership

Dear Lord, as those entrusted with leading this great Xavier University, please help each of us become Leaders in Balance and realize the importance and impact of our way of thinking and our way of being, because leaders are built from the inside out:
Help us approach leadership as a relationship not just a position...listening, reflective, and intentional;

Help us understand that each of us embodies Xavier's brand promise...setting the tone for what is done and valued...building trust;

And that each of us focus on a higher purpose...Xavier's mission above personal interests;

Lord, help us appreciate how collaboration with a purpose can enable us to reach better decisions and to execute our decisions better;

And to that end, Lord, help each of us think "outside the pyramid" to share power and authority...encouraging innovation, releasing energy and spreading influence;

Help us realize that teaching and leadership have much in we search for truth and reality;

Understanding that at the center of collaboration is a true comfort and sincere valuing of diversity of people, ideas and ways of enormously strengthening factor;

Finally Lord, help us all believe during these difficult times, that the challenge of leading change at Xavier University is not about leadership in control, but leadership in balance;

To that end, we collectively embrace the value of nurturing the gene of collaboration throughout all Xavier leaders... deep into our organization.

We make this prayer not alone, but together, for Together there is Power.

- Co-authored by John F Kucia, Ed.D. and Linda Gravett, Ph.D., SPHR, CEQC
- Based on concepts from Leadership in Balance: New Habits of the Mind, published by Palgrave Macmillan, April 2014

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