Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just Prayers?

The act of  "saying grace" at our tables is a deeply political and subversive practice. It counters and subverts the thought that we're in control, that the Reserve Bank or the market economy determines what we have, that the escalating glocal oil prices dictate what is possible, that the planet revolves solely around us.  The "giving of thanks", the practice of prayer, fuels our counter-imaginations of life and moves you and me into our proper place: open to otherness, surprisable, teachable and trusting.  

I invite you to drop your clenched fists, lower the placards, close your mouth, lift your fingers off the keyboard, stop trying to "save the planet" for a moment, simply sit still, and slowly pray this prayer with me.

"Deliver me, O Jesus:
 From the desire of being esteemed
 From the desire of being loved
 From the desire of being honored
 From the desire of being praised
 From the desire of being preferred to others
 From the desire of being consulted
 From the desire of being approved
 From the desire of being popular.
 Deliver me, O Jesus:
 From the fear of being humiliated
 From the fear of being despised
 From the fear of being rebuked
 From the fear of being slandered
 From the fear of being forgotten
 From the fear of being wronged
 From the fear of being treated unfairly
 From the fear of being suspected

 And, Jesus, grant me the grace
 To desire that others might be more loved than I
 That others might be more esteemed than I
 That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I decrease
 That others may be chosen and I set aside
 That others may be preferred to me in everything
 That others may become holier than I, provided that I, too, become as holy as I can."

 (Mother Theresa, A Simple Path)

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