A Franciscan Benediction
This prayer, coming from our Catholic brothers and sisters, should be the prayer of all Red Letter Christians.
In our prayers, our hearts should be broken by the things that break the heart of God. That includes the suffering of the poor in developing countries; the degrading of the natural environment; the victims of racism, sexism, homophobia, militarism, Islamophobia, as well as those who lack medical care. Also, include in your prayers those who are homeless and especially those who suffer from psychological stresses and strains.
In those Bibles that use red letters to highlight the words of Jesus, we are told to pray constantly. Given the many things that break the heart of God – that ought to keep us busy.
May God bless you with discomfort…
Discomfort at easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,
Discomfort, so that you will live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger…
Anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
Anger, so that you will work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears…
Tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, starvation and war,
Tears, so that you will reach out to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.
And, may God bless you with foolishness…
Foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world,
Foolishness, so that you will do what others claim cannot be done.