A PRAYER OF FAITH
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 beginning,
I long for You as my last end,
I praise You as my constant helper,
and call 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 in authority over me
or those under my authority,
my friends and my enemies.
Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
greed by generosity, apathy by fervour.
Help me to forget myself and reach out towards 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 realise 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.
(attributed to Pope Clement XI)
Source: James Alberione, A time for Faith, Daughters of St Paul, USA, 1978
Mama Maria, Mother of all Mothers (A Marian Litany)
Mary, a mother in labour, is not ashamed of nudity; help us to overcome all forms of injustice and abuse of women.
Mary, when a father punished a child it seeks refuge in its mother’s hut; draw us closer to the mercy and compassion of your son, Jesus.
Mary, a child on its mother’s back does not care if the journey is long; by your prayers carry all refugees to safety and peace as you carried the infant Jesus to safety in Egypt.
Mary, a child cannot pay for its mother’s milk; by your prayers may we find constant nourishment for our faith in your son, Jesus.
Mary, a child does not laugh at the ugliness of its mother; by your prayers may we treat all women and men with respect and dignity.
Mary, a person who has not travelled thinks his or her mother is the best cook; by your prayers may we free our minds from all forms of tribalism, discrimination, and ethnic violence.
Mary, if a calf sucks greedily, it tears its mother’s utter; by your prayers help us to overcome greed and selfishness.
Mary, the earth is the mother of all; by your prayers help us to use the resources of the earth with prudence and care.
Mary, the mother of a great person has no horns; by the example of your life may we grow in humility and selfless service to all women and men.
Mary, we are born from the womb of our mothers, we are buried in the womb of the earth; by your prayers may we know the joy of a peaceful death and come to the eternal happiness of heaven together with all our ancestors in faith.
(Inspired by African proverbs celebrating the joy and dignity of motherhood)
From Theology Brewed in an African Pot by Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ, Paulines Publications Africa, 1st Reprint, 2009.