Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and to the poor.

Amen.

- from Philip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make a Difference? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 105.

An Advent Prayer of Henri Nouwen

Lord Jesus,

Master of both the light and the darkness,

send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do

seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.

We who are anxious over many things

look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways

long for the complete joy of your kingdom.

We whose hearts are heavy

seek the joy of your presence.

We are your people, walking in darkness,

yet seeking the light.

To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"

Amen.