Why can’t I allow my own love and self-gift and Christlikeness.
Why do we deny our saintliness?
It is destructive to compare myself with others, both when I seem better and when I seem worse. I seem to be most me when I am alone doing nothing. Then I cannot compare.
Help me, Jesus, to be who I am, not who I imagine others want me to be.
I sometimes try to be someone who does not exist.
Praise to God with all the creatures,
Especially Brother Sun,
Who is the day that gives us light.
And the sun is beautiful and radiant with great
Bearing God’s likeness.
Praise for our Sister moon and the stars
In the heavens bright, precious, and fair.
Praise for our Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
That cherish all creation.
Praise for our Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.
Praise for our Brother Fire,
Who lights the nights and is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Praise for our Sister,
Who sustains and governs us,
Producing varied fruits with colored flowers and
Praise for those who grant pardon out of love.
Blessed are those who endure in peace.
Deepen our compassion, O God.
You are the judge, not us.
Our sister left behind home, family, culture, language
When she fled to protect her life,
her children, their future,
As greed and power ravaged her nation.
Our brother asked for refuge,
A refuge promised by the UN and the US,
But we welcomed him with detention,
Separation from loved ones.
Teach us to walk a mile in their sandals
And be moved to indignation and action.
Stretch our compassion, O God,
To embrace those
Who see this reality differently.
Move us beyond entrenched beliefs,
Inspire us to creative responses
And justice that restores relationships
And hope for all.
May those who knock at our door
Seeking refuge and hope,
Who are met with condemnation and walls
by this nation,
May they challenge us
To live our baptismal promise to the Gospel,
And may they judge us with compassion
when we fail.
Note: This prayer first appeared in the Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ Voices of Compassion, Spring 2019. Reprinted with permission.