Witnessing faith through prayer and action

From the Office of Laity, Family and Life – October 11, 2017

Another natural disaster is affecting our nation as we witness the devastating effects of the fires in the western United States. We pray for all those affected.

Recent weather-related events have been deadly and they have reminded us of the power of nature and the elements of earth, water, wind, and fire. Our faith tradition regularly uses these same symbols as positive representations of God’s presence, guidance, and new life.

For those impacted by these recent tragedies, it falls to us, as Christians, to recuperate a positive experience of these symbols by the way we respond to people’s needs, live our faith, and witness the good news amidst tragedy.

Pope Francis encourages us to find the periphery – to focus on people – and to smell like the sheep. And, yet again, current events are providing more opportunities for each of us to witness our faith in solidarity and unity with the human family. Let us pray for one another, for those who are suffering from the wildfires in California, the earthquake in Mexico, and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate.

The Universal Prayer of Pope Clement XI

Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.

I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
And call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom,
Correct me with your justice,
Comfort me with your mercy,
Protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
My words: to have you for their theme;
My actions: to reflect my love for you;
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

I want to do what you ask of me:
In the way you ask,
For as long as you ask,
Because you ask it.

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.

Help me to repent of my past sins
And to resist temptation in the future.
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses
And to grow stronger as a Christian.

Let me love you, my Lord and my God,
And see myself as I really am:
A pilgrim in this world,
A Christian called to respect and love
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies.

Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
Greed by generosity,
Apathy by fervor.
Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.

Make me prudent in planning,
Courageous in taking risks.
Make me patient in suffering, unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,
Temperate in food and drink,
Diligent in my work,
Firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear,
My conduct without fault,
My speech blameless,
My life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.
Let me cherish your love for me,
Keep your law,
And come at last to your salvation.

Teach me to realize that this world is passing,
That my true future is the happiness of heaven,
That life on earth is short,
And the life to come eternal.

Help me to prepare for death
With a proper fear of judgment,
But a greater trust in your goodness.
Lead me safely through death
To the endless joy of heaven.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.