"War is the greatest threat to public health." - Gino Strada, Italian war surgeon and founder of the UN-recognized Italian NGO Emergency

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Prayer To Live Mercifully


I was reminded this morning of a prayer by Fr. Emmanual Charles McCarthy, and in light of the public Bacchanalia in response to the news of the killing of Osama Bin Ladin I find this prayer a most suitable meditation for our time. 

Among many other things, Fr. McCarthy is one of the co-founders of Pax Christi-USA.  May we all find peace deep within our hearts, and may each of us learn to live mercifully.




Prayer To Live Mercifully

O God,
Teach me
Not to envy,
to hate,
to justify,
to imitate,
to support,
to ennoble,
or to kill for,
Those who take the food from the table of others and then teach contentment,
Those for whom the taxes are destined, who demand sacrifice,
Those who eat their fill, who speak to the hungry of good times to come,
Those who lead humanity into the abyss, calling
Hate, love,
Unfaithfulness, faithfulness,
Lies, truth,
Slavery, freedom,
Too much, not enough,
Homicide, heroism,
Evil, good.

And, O God,
Teach me
when I have food, to remember the hungry;
when I have work, to remember the jobless;
when I have a home, to remember the homeless;
when I am free, to remember the imprisoned;
when I am without pain, to remember the suffering;
when I am loved, to remember the unloved;
when I am living, to remember the dying;
when I am dead, to remember the living.

And remembering, help me to destroy
my complacency; bestir my compassion, and thereby
spend my time and my eternity
doing good upon earth, helping
by word and deed, by prayer and sacrifice of self
those who cry out
for what I take for granted.

-- Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy

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