This Week's Prayer
We know we crave understanding, affection and recognition. Let us, then, be not stingy in extending these gifts to others. Let us not neglect to offer kind words, take time to listen, to hear and empathize.
And let our compassion extend also to those suffering out of our sight.
We remember those who suffer because to forget them is to die inside. Our hearts go out to those bowed down by modern slavery. In Brazil, 340 companies have been fined for using slave labor, in sweatshops, on farms, ranches, and timber, construction, and charcoal production. In Uganda, children are trafficked and forced to work in cattle herding, stone quarrying and brick making, lured into prostitution, and abducted to fight in rebel armies.
We remember those who suffer because to forget them is to die inside. Our hearts go out to those in limbo as they travel far from home, seeking for safety: 900 migrants were rescued near the Greek island of Lesbos. This week Austria imposed a limit of 80 asylum applications a day, and a maximum of 3,200 people will be allowed to travel through the nation.
We remember those who suffer because to forget them is to die inside. Our hearts go out to those who hunger and thirst. As many as 49 million people in southern Africa could be affected by a drought. One million African children are already severely malnourished.
Our hearts go out to pregnant parents fearing for the life chances of their future children as the Zika virus spreads across Latin America, and the number of children born with microcephaly continues to rise.
And our hearts also go out, in gratitude and joy, for all the aid workers and medical staff and social activists dedicating their lives to ameliorating these conditions.
Our hearts go out also to all those who are carrying hope and adventure in their hearts – for example, the more than 18,000 young men and women who in the last two months applied to NASA to be astronauts. May we, too, boldly go where our hearts call us.
Spirit of life and of love, these be our ardent wishes:
To give more generously of ourselves,
To see ourselves with humility and others with understanding.
To be courageous in risking love.
And that the work of our hands will follow the compassion of our hearts.