The light of God surrounds us;
The love of God enfolds us;
The power of God protects us
—Unity Church Song
There is joy
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
in the spoon and the chair
that cry, “Hello there, Anne,”
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green
house each morning
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard,
I was missing something
a laying on of hands
not a man
not my mama/holding me tight/saying
I’m always gonna be her girl
not a laying on of bosom and womb
a laying on of hands
the holiness of myself released
I sat up one nite walking a boarding house
screaming/crying/the ghost of another woman
who was missing what I was missing
I wanted to jump up outta my bones
& be done with myself
leave me alone
& go on in the wind
it was too much
I fell into a numbness
til the only tree I could see
took me up in her branches
held me in the breeze
made me dawn dew
that chill at daybreak
the sun wrapped me up swinging rose light everywhere
the sky laid over me like a million men
I was cold/I was burning up/a child
& endlessly weaving garments for the moon
with my tears
I found god in myself
& I loved her/I loved her fiercely
I have many problems in my life
That I don’t know the answer to,
But I trust that you do.
Please guide me in the way
That is best and gives me wisdom and strength.
May your will be done! Amen.
Admirable St. Dymphna, how just you were to all whom you encountered, and how careful you were to give every person his due, and more than he might desire or expect. By your power with God, please come to assist us to be just to all we meet, and even to be generous in giving everyone more than strict justice requires.
My God, when I look into the future, I am frightened,
But why plunge into the future?
Only the present moment is precious to me,
As the future may never enter my soul at all.
It is no longer in my power to change, correct, or add to the past;
For neither sages nor prophets could do that.
And so what the past has embraced, I must entrust to God.
O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire.
I desire to use you as best I can.
And although I am weak and small,
You grant me the grace of Your omnipotence.
And so, trusting in Your mercy,
I walk through life like a little child,
Offering You each day this heart
Burning with love for Your greater Glory.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
Help us to love each person because
they are a human being and created in the image of God.
Let not our race, color, religion, or ethnicity be a dividing factor
but may we see each person as a uniquely created individual
worthy of our love.
Help us to stand against senseless violence and not support
anyone who would divide others for their own gain.
We ask, O God, for the grace
to be our best selves.
We ask for the vision
to be builders of the human community
rather than its destroyers.
We ask for the humility as a people
to understand the fears and hopes of other peoples.
We ask for the love it takes
to bequeath to the children of the world to come
more than the failures of our own making.
We ask for the heart it takes
to care for all the peoples
of Afghanistan and Iraq, of Palestine and Israel
as well as for ourselves.
Give us the depth of soul, O God,
to constrain our might,
to resist the temptations of power
to refuse to attack the attackable,
that vengeance begets violence,
and to bring peace—not war—wherever we go.
For You, O God, have been merciful to us.
For You, O God, have been patient with us.
For You, O God, have been gracious to us.
And so may we be merciful
with these others whom you also love
This we ask through Jesus,
the one without vengeance in his heart.
This we ask forever and ever. Amen.
—Sister Joan Chittister