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PRAYER AND RITUAL
FROM THE BREASTPLATE OAINT PATRICK
FASTING & FEASTING
God, I praise you! I thank you for all the blessings you have given to me.
Fast from judging others; Feast on the Christ dwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; Feast on the unity of life.
Fast from apparent darkness; Feast on the light of Christ.
Fast from words that pollute; Feast on phrases that purify.
Fast from discontent; Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; Feast on patience.
Fast from worry; Feast on God's will for you.
Fast from complaining; Feast on appreciation.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; Feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; Feast on non-resistance.
Fast from bitterness; Feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; Feast on compassion for others.
Fast from discouragements; Feast on hope.
Fast from idle gossip; Feast on purposeful silence.
I ask you to change my heart, God, so that during this season of Lent I may be renewed by fasting on all that turns me away from you and feast on all that draws me closer to you. I pray this in Jesus' name.
A PROFESSION OF FAITH FOR LENT
I believe in Jesus Christ who assumed our humanity,
I believe in the Holy Spirit who makes us Christians, builders of a new world where justice reigns,
I believe in the power of the faithful
PRAYER FOR LENT
Dear Lord, we are now in the holy season of Lent.
We begin to realize anew that these are the days of salvation, these are the acceptable days.
Help us now, Lord, in our feeble attempts to make up for past sin.
Bless our efforts with the rich blessing of your grace.
Help us to see, in our ordinary difficulties and duties, in the trials and temptations of every day, the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities.
Then we shall see, in our own soul, how the desert can blossom, and the dry and wasted land can bring forth the rich, useful fruit that we expected of it from the beginning.
A PRAYER FOR STANDING ROCK
We pray for our family at Standing Rock.
--Lyla June Johnson (a descendent of the Navajo and Cheyenne tribes)
INTERCESSIONS ATTRIBUTED TO MOTHER TERESA
Reader: People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Reader: If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Reader: If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Reader: If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Reader: What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Reader: If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Reader: The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Reader: Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Reader: In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
SEVENTEENTH CENTURY NUN'S PRAYER
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. I dare not ask for grace enough to enjoy the tales of other's pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my momory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint--some of them are so hard to live with--but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the Devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
INTERCESSIONS ON CARE OF CREATION
All the petitions use words or images from Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato Si'.
1. That we may hear the cry of our sister Earth because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her, we pray . . .
2. That we might recognize that the climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all and make the changes of lifestyle, production and consumption in order to combat global warming, we pray . . .
3. That God may open our hearts to both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, we pray . . .
4. That we might hear the call to be instruments of God our Father, so that our planet may be as God created it and may correspond to his plan for peace, beauty and fullness, we pray . . .
5. For a deep reverence toward creation, that we might experience everything, soil, water, mountains, as a caress of God, we pray . . .
6. That the spirit of God may deepen our recognition of the nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily acts, we pray . . .
7. For all followers of Jesus, that we may recognize that living our vocations to be protectors of God's handiwork is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience, we pray . . .
(These intercessions were prepared by the Office of Peace, Justice and Ecological Integrity of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ)
FOR OUR PLANET
Let us bless the imagination of the Earth,
Let us thank the Earth that offers ground for home
Let us salute the silence and certainty of mountains:
The wonder of a garden trusting the first warmth of spring . . .
The kindness of the Earth, opening to receive
Let us ask forgiveness of the Earth
Let us remember within us the ancient clay,
That we may awaken to live to the full the dream
We join with Earth and with each other
To bring new life to the land
We join with Earth and each other
To renew the forests
To celebrate the seas
We join with Earth and with each other
To recreate community
May you know the embrace of Earth.
May she teach you the wisdom of intimacy:
May she teach you the wisdom of grace:
May you be known in Earth's embrace.
--Jan L. Richardson
GOD OF ALL CREATION
We unite as your children as faithful partners
We have prayed and we continue to pray for guidance.
Please, God, be our parent!
PRAYER SERVICE FOR AN END TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Leader: As we gather in prayer to end human trafficking, let us take a moment of silence to remember the estimated 21 million women, men and children who are trafficked today, and every, day.
[Moment of Silence]
Leader: Let us hold these people in our hearts as with hope we pray the words of Psalm 10:17-18
Reader 1: You listen, God, to the needs of the poor; you strengthen their hearts and incline your ear. You win justice for the orphaned and oppressed; no one on earth will cause terror again.
Leader: As we listen to the stories of survivors of human trafficking, we pray for the strength of those enslaved as we work to create a world where no one causes terror again.
Reader 2: “The long working hours made us weak and exhausted . . . I always felt very tired and much disturbed because the supervisors were scolding me for carelessness in my work. I also suffered from headache and leg pain. I didn’t like working at the mill at all.”
--A 20-year-old Dalit Girl working 12-hour plus days at a textile factory in Tamil Nadu, India
Reader 1: “My wife and I were forced to do agricultural and construction work to pay off our debt. Our small children were abused and forced to do household chores. We were all forced to live in the garage and were threatened with deportation. Food was locked up and we were not allowed to eat without permission.”
--A man who moved with his family from Latin America to Washington State, USA
Reader 2: “We had no choice. There was nowhere to flee; we were surrounded by the sea. After we arrived back to the shore, we were locked inside the room guarded by their men. The workers had to take one trip after another. There were many workers living under the same conditions. ”
—A young man enslaved on a fishing boat in Thailand
Reader 1: “They let me know what would become of me if I told anyone. They told me they knew where I lived, they knew my teachers, they knew my school, they knew everything about me. There was nothing I could do to protect myself. At 14-years-old. I didn’t know where to begin.”
—An American girl sold by a friend’s father and trafficked for sex in Florida, USALeader: We now take a moment to reflect upon these stories.
[Moment of Silence]
Reader 2: For children and adults exploited in the commercial sex industry;
Response All: Dwell in them and give them freedom.
Reader 1: For the survivors of human trafficking, as they rebuild their lives;
Response All: Dwell in them and give them hope.
Reader 2: For the traffickers and pimps who have hardened their hearts and are exploiting others;
Response All: Dwell in them and change their hearts.
Reader 1: For consumers, that we may be aware of what we support through our daily words, actions and purchases; and that we respect the human dignity of all oursisters and brothers;
Response All: Dwell in us and help us see You in others.
Let us pray (Together): God of freedom, be with the people enslaved around the world. Help them to remember that they have dignity and worth. Guide us as we endeavor to end human trafficking and work for freedom for all people. Amen.
I ask my brothers and sisters in faith and all men and women of good will for a decisive choice to combat trafficking in persons.
PRAYER TO CONFRONT POVERTY
Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, you are the origin of all gifts. Make us grateful stewards of your many blessings,
Father, Creator of Abundance, grant us generosity in sharing our gifts and resources with our brothers and sisters around the world.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, make us advocates of the peace that strengths justice and the justice that sustains peace.
Spirit of Justice, may the love and equality you share with the Father and the Son inspire us to support just policies that lift up poor persons.
Loving God, we ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
PRAYER FOR VICTIMS OF NATURAL DISASTERS
O GOD, HEAR THE PRAYERS OF THOSE WHOSE
FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION,
GRANT US THE GRACE TO SEE YOUR POWER
STRENGTHEN THE FAITH OF THOSE WHO FIND
STIR THE HEARTS OF YOUR FAITHFUL TO FIND YOU,
GRANT THAT OUR FAITH IN THE RESURRECTION OF