Prayers and Devotions

Prayer of Saint Louise de Marillac

A Quiet Place: Prayers for Comfort & Peace

Lift Up Your Voice Prayers

Prayers for Meetings and for Beginning One's Day

Prayers for Personal or Group Reflection

Prayers in the Spirit of Our Founders

Intercultural Prayers

Miscellaneous Prayers

Prayer of Saint Louise de Marillac
As for your conduct toward the sick, may you never take the attitude of merely getting the task done. You must show them affection; serving them from the heart; inquiring of them what they might need; speaking to them gently and compassionately; procuring necessary to help for them without being too bothersome or too eager.
St. Louise de Marillac - 1647

In a Quiet Place
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our striving cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.
-J.G. Whittier

For Insight
May the Lord Jesus touch our eyes,
as he did those of the blind.
Then we shall begin to see visible things, and
those which are invisible.
May he open our eyes to gaze, not on present realities,
but on blessings to come.
May he open the eyes of our heart
to contemplate God in Spirit,
through Christ Jesus the Lord, to whom
belongs power and glory, through all eternity.

Spiritual Reflection
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back;
May the sun shine upon your face;
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Spiritual Reflection II
I did not hear God in the mighty wind,
Nor in the awful storm,
But in the stillness of a whisper did I know God.
Be patient.
Try to love the questions.
Do not seek the answers which cannot be given;
You would not be able to live them.
Live everything.
Live the questions now;
You will then gradually without noticing it
Live into the answers some distant day.
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Hopefulness
O Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me,
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death I will not fear, and you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to make this journey alone.
-Thomas Merton

Hopefulness II
Holy One of all creation,
it is You that has given me hope.
To see the beauty of your handy work
encourages my soul.
It is You that I am able to stand
against the winds of illness.
Hope you will be my light and my safe harbor.
Amen

Fearfulness
In me there is darkness, but with you there is light;
I am lonely,
but You do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with You there is help;
I am restless, but with You there is pease.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Fearfulness II
O God, my heart is trouble and fearful.
I do not know what tomorrow may bring, but I know your grace reaches every tomorrow.
Therefore grant me faith to see beyond today, the evidence of your perfect love, and fear will fade away.
Amen

Thanksgiving
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made, and my sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy: myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades as a fading sunset my spirit may come to you without shame.
-Native American Prayer

Thanksgiving II
Dear God,
This morning I want to simply thank you for grace, mercy, love and hope.
Again, when evening comes, I will seek your face so I may sing a new song of thanksgiving.
Thank you for filling my days with hope, and for everyone who has helped carry my burden.
In grateful appreciation, I rest in your care.
-Amen

Jewish Prayer
Shalom
May we drink deeply from the fountain of peace,
Know peace deeply in ourselves,
Live in peace with our neighbors,
Create peace in the world,
We bless the Holy One,
Creator of wholeness, Source of Peace.
May you guard my tongue from evil,
And my lips from speaking lies.
Help me ignore the taunts of my foes,
And to forgive those who wrong me.
Open my heart to the wisdom of Your law
So that my feet will follow the path of Righteousness.
Give me strength to meet each day with quiet will.
Give me the faith to know Thou art my Shepard still.
Give me the light to find my way when shadows fall,
Be thou my steady, guiding star, Father of all.
-Hebrew Union Home Prayer Book

Muslim Prayer of Healing
O God, You are my hope-
How can I be disappointed?
You are my trust-
How can I ever despair! Our eyes cannot discern you.
Hidden as you are in the cloak of Your glory.
But our hearts perceive your majesty.
It is glory enough for me
That I should be your servant
It is grace enough for me
That you should be my Lord.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

A Friend
Every person needs a friend,
One who will always be there
In times of joy and times of woe
With a touch of tender care.
A friend to walk along beside us.
A friend who always dries our tears.
A friend who faithfully will guide us.
A friend who calms our stress and fears.
We are often weak and weary,
Heavy burdens come our way,
And Jess is the perfect friend;
He is our refuge every day.
Our Master and our blessed Savior -
He listens to our earnest prayer.
O, what a friend we have in Jesus.
Our perfect friend is always there.
-Edna Massimilla

God's Gifts
When I awake to each new day,
I bend my knees in prayer
To thank You, Lord, for all Your Gifts
That help me to love and share.
You gave me sight that I might see
And ears with which to hear,
A voice to profess Your love for me
And words to comfort and cheer.
You gave me wisdom to teach and pray
And tell of Your great love,
To ask for blessings every day -
You give me all of the above.
For what is life if you cannot give
Some kindness, thoughts and deed,
A friendly smile, a gentle touch
And help to those in need.
And so I ask for strength and health
To touch each life with love.
I have no need for worldly wealth -
You give it all from above.
-Helen L. Dodge

The Book of Life
No matter what our mission is
While we are here on earth,
The Lord will keep a record
Of all we've done since birth.
At the end of every day
A simple mark He'll make,
If things we did for others,
Were done in His name's sake.
If we gladly share our food,
Give drink to one who pleads,
Pray for those in trouble,
He'll remember our good deeds.
When life is finally over
We hope our page is filled
With marks of love and kindnesses...
As our dear Father willed.
- Angie Monnens

While Still Day
Like a flower flourishing in a field
That quickly withereth away,
So our lives are but for a moment;
Make them count while we may!
Make moments full of good done for others;
This serving, serves our Lord.
Let deeds be the roses cast at His feet -
Our love be thus outpoured.
Before your life's like a dream that's past,
Keep sowing good deeds while you may.
Work, for the shades of night are falling;
Work while it is still day!
-Lynn Fenimore Nuzzi

And Time Goes By
It seems it was just yesterday
That Spring made her debut.
She painted every hillside green
And thrilled us through and through.
She gave us birdsong, sunlit skies,
And blessed the earth with rain.
Flowers in the deepest vale
Spread their perfume again.
All Nature round about us
Responded to her call,
And joined the celebration -
But suddenly, it's Fall.
Clouds drift low, there is a chill
Hanging in the air.
Leaves float gently to the ground,
Fields lie black and bare.
No swallow parts the empty sky,
No robin sings her song.
The gardens are bereft of bloom;
A sign it won't be long....
Before we see a blanket
Of snow upon the ground,
And fields and woods lie sleeping
In solitude abound.
-Regina Wiencek

Life's Journey
Life is a complex journey
In God's celestial plan
So live it well and wisely,
Be the best that you can.
Ignore the slings and the arrows,
Stay fast and you'll always find
His love and hand there to guide you,
Bringing joy and true peace of mind.
-VI B Chevalier

A Pleasant Journey
Take me on the byroads
When traveling hither, yon;
Take me through God's woodlands
Where little streamlets run.
Where filtering through the treetops
Are rays of sun so bright
That make the journey pleasant
And keep the spirits blithe.
Take me on the byroads
Where there's serenity,
Where all along the roadsides
God's flowers bloom so free.
Where the virgin woodland
Attracts the traveling eye;
Oh, take me on the byroads -
Here God is very nigh.
-Loise Pinkerton Fritz

The Colors of Life
In the golden glow of sunset
Over seas awash in flame,
Excited gulls call joyously
And freely play their game.
Dark clouds await a summons
As the sky turns softly gray,
Moving slowly now to cover,
Closing off another day,
'Til tomorrow's dawn will waken
All of Nature once again,
Streaking welcome rays of color,
Charting paths for fishermen.
Changes color all our living,
Ours to deal with as we can.
But our Faith will help and guide us
As we share God's loving plan.
Let us wrap the colors 'round us
Before daylight fades away.
Join God's creatures; sing His praises:
Lord, we thank You for this day.
-Helen M. Motti

God's Gifts II
When ocean breezes drift my way,
I feel and smell the salty spray,
Life affirming - a gift from the sea,
It brings our Lord so near to me.
I feel His power in the ocean's roar
In sun splashed waves that pound the shore.
I see His greatness where ocean meets sky
Where sunset burns brightly - God's all seeing eye.
What glorious sights the eye can see!
God's revelations - His gift to me.
-Charlene Kaminski

Love...
Love is deeper than the ocean;
Love is wider than the sea;
Love is full of true emotions -
Love is made for you and me...
Love is deeper than the ocean;
Love is fresher than the Spring;
Love is constant and enduring,
And it makes a glad heart sing...
Love is deeper than the ocean;
Love is pure and kind and grand;
Love is part of God's dominion,
And He holds it in His hand...
Love is deeper than the ocean;
Love is full of hope and care;
Love is filled with great devotion -
Love is like an evening prayer!
-Hope C. Oberhelman

Come to the Lighthouse
Come to the lighthouse
And watch the leaping waves roar;
The ocean is so beautiful
As the rushing waters wash ashore.
The lighthouse stands so stately
As a refuge from each storm,
And when the thunder rumbles
Look to the lighthouse safe and warm.
Come to the lighthouse,
And may it be your guide
When the waters billow
And you're lost amid life's tides.
When your troubles seem to multiply
And you're tossed to and fro,
Just remember there's another lighthouse
In which you can set sail and row.
This other lighthouse is called "Jesus"
Extending His beans of hope from above -
Come let Him steer you to peaceful harbors
With the heavenly light of love.
-Linda C. Grazulis

My Savior's Love
I'm basking in the light
Of my Savior's love,
As He sends His grace upon me
From His throne above.
The wonder of it all
Floods my weary soul.
I hear His gentle voice
Say, "Come to Me, I'll make you whole.
Trust in Me, My own dear child.
Let me show you My way
And I will be with you
Each and every day."
-Dona M Maroney

This Land Is Ours
There is nothing new under the sun.
It continues to shine; rain continues to come.
The deserts are weary from heat of the day.
While mountain's are covered with mists of gray.
God sends the seasons, each in turn;
Yet minds grasp not the lessons to learn.
He showers us with blessings rife;
Tokens, they are, of eternal life.
The trees are a haven for nesting birds.
Endless field of grain feeds hungry herds.
Parks are alive with chatter and shout.
Elders rejoice to be up and about.
This world is filled with beauty rare
Given by God and left in our care.
Let's take our loved ones by the hand
Any enjoy together this great land.
-M. Elaine Fowser

Thoughts of My Loving Savior
My mind often seems to wander
Off and on throughout the day,
With thoughts of my loving Savior
And His mighty and wondrous way.
I remember the love that He has for me
And the beauty that He created by hand.
I see His magnificent and glorious works
That is spread across our land.
Oh, what an awesome God I have.
He is always ready to forgive,
The many faults and sins I have,
All of the days that I shall live.
He heals my many sorrows and pains
And consoles my broken heart.
He promised to remain with me
And will never, ever depart.
I'll allow my mind to wander
As long as my thoughts are of God.
I plan to give Him thanks and praise
As I walk this earthly sod.
-Shirley Hile Powell

Lord of the Mountains
Lord of the mountains and smaller hills,
Lord of the valleys, dales and rills,
Protector of oceans, rivers and streams;
Help us save our earthly dreams.
Teach us how to honor our land
And teach us patience to understand.
Lord, let us enjoy the gifts You give,
It's with appreciation we may live
To thank You, dear Father, and know the love
You send down to us from Your kingdom above.
-Jean Conder Soule

Life Up Your Voice
Lift up your voice,
In earnest love and prayer;
Thanking God for what you have,
Letting Him know you care.
Thank Him for the sunshine,
Thank Him for the rain;
Thank Him for your pleasure,
And thank Him for your pain.
Thank Him for the good times,
Thank Him for the bad;
Thank Him for just being Him,
Let Him know, for this you're glad.
Then God in all His wisdom,
Will listen to your voice;
And as He answers all your prayers,
You can stand up and rejoice.
-Julia T. Gregory

Life's Canvas
The world is like a great canvas
And God is the artist of life;
His colors are like a great rainbow,
He paints only beauty, not strife.
He blends all the colors completely,
His brush strokes the canvas doth fill.
He covers our heartaches and failures,
Conforms them to His loving will.
From the dust of our life,
He paints sunshine and light;
With touches of dewdrops,
Tears are banished from sight.
There are bright, colorful walkways,
With many flowers and trees:
Large rivers are briskly flowing,
As small streams ripple with ease.
The canvas of life is before us,
Every deed makes the canvas expand.
The power of Gild holds it firmly;
And our faith keeps the beauty so grand.
So fill life's canvas completely,
Don't let the great mudslides invade:
Love, faith and joy mixed together,
Will insure that the canvas won't fade.
-Frances Culp Wolfe

Each Day Is a Gift
The Lord ushers in unspoiled, fresh, new days,
LIghting our world with transfiguring rays,
Offering His gifts of hours on earth.
Each day of life is a new rebirth -
A time to listen to HIs voice and know
The direction His love would have us go,
To trust completely in His guiding care,
Empathize with others, our blessing share,
Appreciate the beauty in common things
And the satisfaction humble service brings.
Although we struggle though the darkest hour,
The Lord can enrich our lives with power.
If we draw near to Him in prayer and praise,
Acknowledge His hand in our life always,
When each day's sun sets majestically
Spreading flaming glory for all to see,
We can leave our fears in His loving hands,
Serenely assured that He understands.
-Louise Pugh Corder

Awesome Wonder
I sit in awesome wonder
Mesmerized by the beauty of Fall,
The last explosion of color
Before Winter makes its call.
The hills are lined with pillars of gold
With red jewels scattered by their side,
While orange and greens are entwined
Where wild grapevines appear to be tied.
I can't get enough of the beauty
Even though I truly try.
It's so hard to let go of the colors
Knowing it shall all soon die.
Row after row of red sumac
Glistens by the sassafras fair.
All add to the beauty of Autumn
Before north winds shake them bare.
Autumn is surely the crown jewel
Of every season on earth,
So I must remember the elegance
Until Spring brings us new birth.
I must hold on to good memories
And let them linger long in my mind,
So God presented us with Autumn -
His wondrous gifts to mankind.
-Shirley HIle Powell

The Door to My Heart Is Open
The door to my heart is open,
You're welcome to come in.
There's room enough for everyone
And you may come again.
The door is always open;
No one is turned away
For a heart that no one enters
Grows lonelier each day.
Friends fill our hearts with laughter
And dry the bitter tears
And open hearts forge friendships
That last throughout the years.
A heart that's closed to others
Grows harder than a stone
And the person who lives there
Is doomed to live alone.
If you slam the door on others,
Life glass, it too will break,
But with friends there to repair it,
What a difference it can make!
Lonely hearts will always wonder
How things might have been...
The door to my heart is open;
You're welcome to come in!
-Clay Harrison

The Providing
God's hands are full of goodness,
His heart is full of grace,
His arms, outstretched with mercy,
As I kneel to seek His face.
His wonders, never ceasing,
His love is ever true,
How thankful to be His child,
Each day, He forgives anew.
-Norma Woodbridge

Opening of Meetings
Lord God, the God of our ancestors, our help and our hope, be with us today as we convene for our work of our group. We thank You, Lord, for the delight we find in one another. Send Your Holy Spirit to guide us in this day's work. Give us strength and joy in serving You as followers of Christ. Amen
-Barbara McMullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Lord God, come fill us with the spirit of honesty, love and peace. We come dedicated to prayer, to service and to finding You here at this time and in this place. May our shared commitment be a continued source of union and love and may we life out this commitment in Your name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

We thank You God for gathering us here for the opportunity to share, support, encourage and challenge one another. Keep us conscious of Your presence, aware of Your Loving designs and open to Your divine plan. Enlighten us and guide us as we continue our plan to share Your blessings and provide services to Your people.

Lord, Eternal God,
We are about to being our meeting,
and we do so with the awareness
that without Your Divine Presence
here at the center of this meeting -
and also within ourselves - our work
will be empty.
Grace us with holy humor and humility
so that not only this meeting
but all our lives may be a meeting place
for Your kingdom.
We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ,
Who lives with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
Chaplain Services, Columbia St. Mary's Milwaukee

Father,
may everything we do begin with Your inspiration and continue with Your saving help. Let our work always find its origin in You and through You reach completion. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, on God forever and ever.
-Office of Morning Prayer for Monday, Week 1 from Liturgy of the Hours

Loving God, we thank and praise You for the power of Your presence deep in our hearts, the vitality of Your presence here in our midst, for this opportunity to come together and celebrate our common call to the healing mission of Jesus. We thank You for the quality of ministry that is represented here, for the many and diverse efforts that continue to contribute to the building of a better world. Confirm and strengthen our vision. Be the hope that sustains us and strengthens us in these changing, challenging times. Glory and praise to You! Amen.
-Barbara McMullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Loving God, free us from repetitive rhythms and tired tunes to hear the pulse of a new beat and whisper of a new melody, then let us sing to You.
-Alive Now, May/June 1999

O God of Infinite Love, You call us to go beyond boundaries which separate and divide us. Help all of us to work together as partners in healing, to build on the common concerns we share, and to grow in our trust and support of one another. Bless us and all those who serve in the healthcare ministry. Amen.
-Barbara McMullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Holy Spirit, revive, inspire, kindle and ignite us. so that our lives might be a fire burning brightly in the night.
-Alive Now, May/June 1999

Generous Steward and Creator of all that is, we thank You and we praise You for the power of Your presence here in our midst, for this opportunity to come together to celebrate our call to be Your healing presence. We thank You for the quality of leadership that is represented here, for the many and diverse gifts that contribute toward the building of the Kingdom. Pour out Your Spirit upon us. Confirm and strengthen our vision. Be the hope that sustains and strengthens us as we reflect on what Your call to ministry means for us at this time. Bless us now in all things good and human. For what is yet to come we pray in thanks. Amen
-Barbara McMullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Spirit of God, You are the stirring in our hearts. You urge us to get going. You prompt us to follow. You encourage us not to give up. You call us to open our minds and hearts to receive Your energizing transforming radiance. Make us receptive so that we will follow your loving movement within our lives. We trust in Your powerful presence with us. Amen. -From May I Have This Dance? by Joyce Rupp 1992

God of the Covenant, remind us of the importance of working together. Help us feel Your presence. Let us see Your glory revealed. Amen.
-Alive Now, May/June 1999

We stand before your, Holy Spirit, conscious of our sinfulness, but aware that we gather in Your name.
Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our hearts,
Give us light and strength to know Your will, to make it our own, and to live it in our lives.
Guide us by Your wisdom, support us by Your power, for You are God, sharing the glory of Father and Son.
You desire justice for all: enable us to uphold the rights of others; do not allow us to be misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favor.
Unite us to Yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true/
As we gather in Your name we may temper justice with love, so that all our decisions may be pleasing to You, and earn the reward promised to good and faithful servants.
You live and reign with the Father and the Son, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
-Used before every session of the 2nd Vatican Council

Come Holy Spirit, enkindle the fire of Your love.
Transform all that is fearful into boldness of heart.
Inspire Your servant with wonder and awe at the mystery of Your presence.
Confirm Your friend in compassion and forgiveness. Whisper discernment in the midst of confusion; be wisdom in time of trouble; reverence in the face of diversity; patience, with the unfolding of life, and forever anoint Your messenger with joy. Amen.
-Blessing by Pat Bergen, CSJ, Courtesy of Ministry of the Arts

Holy Spirit of Wisdom,
You refresh us with Your Life-saving power.
You have entrusted us with a share in leadership.
Help us to share ideas and plans with each other.
Keep us kind and courteous to one another.
Give us insight to the work at hand
that we may further Your causes
and benefit many people.
Help us to resist any temptation to dominate,
control or forget the needs of all.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
-Barbara McMullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Grace-giving God, when life seems dry, let us find living water in the wilderness. Give us the creativity to fashion vessels to carry this water to others.
-Alive Now May/June 1999

God of the journey, as You give us a new heart and a new spirit, help us invite others to share the gifts You gave them as we travel together on the road of faith.
-Alive Now, May/June 1999

Closing of Meetings
We pause for just a moment, Lord, to reflection all that we have done together today.
Short quiet reflection.
Thank you for the work we have completed, for the fellowship among us, for the spirit that has been given to us, and for the opportunity to serve You. As we depart from here, Lord, we remember that we have been sent by You to serve a world in need of good news. Be our guide and our inspiration as we go forth to carry on the work before. Amen.
-Barbara McMullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Before we adjourn this meeting, let us pause for silent prayer in gratitude to our Lord for the Divine Presence at the center of our gathering.
Pause for reflection
We lift up into Your Divine Heart the material concerns that we have discussed With Your holy assistance may we carry forward the work we have agreed upon. Remember the needs of our department and our hospital, especially, that we may, all of us, grow daily in the image of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. May you accomplish us in all we do and bless our departure with Your abiding Presence. Amen.
-Courtesy of Chaplain Services, Columbia-St. Mary's Milwaukee

God of the Covenant, remind us of the importance of working together. Help us feel Your presence. Let us see Your glory revealed. Amen.
-Alive Now May/June 1999)

Lord of day and night, of beginnings and endings, as we prepare to conclude this meeting, we once again lift up our hearts to You, the Divine Source of all life.
We thank You for the gifts that have been present within this act of service to the community.
For the gifts of fellowship and understanding, of mutual respect and shared vision, we are grateful.
For the gifts of perseverance and insight into the common concerns we share, for these and all other graces, we are thankful.
As You have blessed our coming together, now bless our departure and journeys homeward.
May your blessing be upon us, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
-Chaplain Services, Columbia-St. Mary's Milwaukee

Prayers to Begin One's Day
God
our Father, Yours is the beauty of creation and the good things You have given us. Help us to begin this day joyfully in Your name and to spend it in loving service of You and our neighbor.
We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
-Office of MOrning Prayer, Tuesday, Week III from Liturgy of the Hours

Oh God, at the dawn of creation You breathed your spirit into the dust of the earth and brought into being the glory of our Life. We have grown to this day, using Your many gifts in the cause of human progress and knowledge. As the day begins, we beg for the power of Your Spirit to breathe upon us once again. Add Your holy wisdom to our learning. Never let us use the gift of learning to take away the gift of life that is Yours alone to give. Give us wisdom in our time, Holy One! May we find You in the work we are about this day. Grace our every effort and inspire us to think clearly and to be given the gift of discernment to know the new places the Spirit may be calling us. We pray in the name of Jesus, our brother and Your Son. Amen.
-Barbara McMullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Making A Difference
A small boy was running up and down the beach, feverishly hurling starfish back into the water before they died. An old man approached him. "Do you honestly think your work will make any difference?" he asked skeptically. The boy looked at him with sparkling eyes, held up a starfish and said, "It makes a difference to this one!" and threw the starfish back into the sea.
Reflection: Do I believe that what I do makes a difference for someone, for some cause or for some organization?

Prayer of St Theresa of Avila
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Yours are the hands with which Christ can bless the world.
Yours are the eyes with which Christ can shine compassion on a troubled world.
Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good.
Christ has no body but yours,
no hands, no feet, no eyes, on earth but yours.
-St. Teresa of Avila

For An Understanding Of Suffering
Lord, our God, the mystery of suffering and pain bursts into the lives of all people. This sharing in the sorrow of Your son, Jesus, encourages us to work toward helping heal the sickness of our world. We thank You for this ministry which gives us the opportunity to explore the puzzle of pain.
May we only see the fullness of life, not reflecting the element of pain inherent in all growth and essential in each person's search for wholeness. We, as disciples of Christ, following in the footsteps of the Suffering Servant, ask that those who suffer find special meaning in their lives and compassion from those who accompany them. Blessed are You, Lord, our God, who shares pain and suffering and compassion with us as part of the mystery of life. Amen.
-Barbara McMullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Peace Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there in injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not, so much seek to be consoled
as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and in dying that we are born to eternal life.
-St. Francis of Assisi

Prayer of Archbishop Oscar Romero
It helps now and then to step back and take the long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.
Which is another way of saying that the Kingdom lies behind us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
No strategic plan addresses every possibility.
That is what we are about.
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need to further develop.
We provide yeast that produce effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation realizing this.
It enables us to do something and do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end result, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are the workers, not the master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen.
-Archbishop Oscar Romero

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Feast Day - January 1
Let your chief study be to acquaint yourself with God because there is nothing greater than God, and because it is the only knowledge which can fill the heart with a peace and joy which nothing can disturb.

O Lord, keep us in Thy way, direct us in Thy paths, recall our wanderings, make us hear Thy voice with gladness and to rejoice in Thy Salvation.

Faith lifts the soul, Hope supports it, Experience says it must, and Love says...let it be!

I do not look either before or behind, but go straight on, according to my former rule of conduct and do not regard human calculations.

This is true contentment - to hope for nothing, desire nothing, expect, nothing.

Be attentive to the voice of grace. Dwell in prayer on the best thoughts of the moment. Love to soar above in your good time of prayer.

Perseverance: a gratuitous grace, yet forfeited so often!

St. Louise de Marillac Feast Day - March 15
Lord, help me to imitate Your way of living and acting: You said that You had come upon earth to serve not be served.
Teach me to show great gentleness toward all, to imitate Your goodness in welcoming them.
Like you, I want to love tenderly, to be very respectful to all those I meet, to be affable and gentle to those in greatest need.
Lord teach me to maintain a always greet esteem for my neighbor.
Your life on earth, Your death and resurrection bear witness to Your love for all.

We should be faithful in little things, keep ourselves in the presence of God, and have a great desire to please Him.

Do not be upset if things are not as you would want them to be for a long time to come. Do the little you can, very peacefully and calmly so as to allow room for the guidance of God in your lives. Do not worry about the rest.

I must have great trust in God and believe that His grace will be sufficient to enable me to fulfill His holy will, however difficult it may appear to be, provided the Holy Spirit is truly calling me. I shall know this by listening to the advice which He will permit me to receive.

Oh, how true it is that souls who seek God will find Him everywhere but especially in the poor! How I cherish Your thoughts on this subject! They gave me great cause to praise God.

St. Vincent de Paul Feast Day - September 27
O God, grant that we may walk in Your steps. Send the grace to follow you. Lead us to seek the reign of God and its justice, and to leave all other worries in your care. Amen.

Lord Jesus, teach me by Your example...Make me, through the vigor of my efforts, set the world around me on fire. I want to give myself to You, body and soul, heart and mind and spirit so that I may always do what gladdens You. In Your mercy, grant me the grace to have You continue in me and through me, Your saving work. Jesus Christ, my Savior, during Your life here on earth you practiced charity and the support of others incomparably more than anyone else...Let my practice of these virtues contribute to the realization of God's designs, so that through imitating You I may glorify God, and by my example lead others to His service

Be thankful for the variety of gifts and difference of personality. When you put your own potential and insights at the service of your community your unity will grow stronger and richer, and together you will create that spaciousness which finds room for everyone.

I ask our Lord to be Himself your strength and your life, as He is for all those who are nourished by His love.

Let us walk with confidence on this royal road on which Jesus Christ will be our mentor and our guide.

There is no better way to assure our eternal happiness than to live and die in the service of the poor within the arms of providence and in real renunciation of ourselves by following Jesus Christ. Come now, let us engage ourselves with renewed love to serve the poor, and let us engage ourselves with renewed love to serve the poor, and let us even seek out the poorest and most abandoned of all.

Arabic Prayer
It is glorious enough for me that I should be Your servant. It is grace enough for me that You should be my Lord.

Buddhist Prayer
May all beings cross over to the other shore, from suffering to liberation, from forgetfulness to mindfulness, from ignorance to enlightenment. Enlightenment! Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Hindu Prayer
In the darkness that encircles us all around, and shuts off our vision, do Thou, Lord rise like the sun, and dispel the darkness with Thy Light Divine. May all be freed from dangers. May all realize what is good. May all be motivated by noble thoughts. May all rejoice everywhere. May all be happy. May all be free from diseases. May all realize what is good and healthy. May none be subject to misery. O Lord, lead us from the unreal to the Real. Lead us from darkness to LIght. Lead us from death to immortality! Peace, peace, peace be unto all! Oh God, let us be united; let us speak in harmony; let our minds apprehend alike. Common be our prayer; common be the end of our assembly; common be our feelings; unified be our hearts; common be our intentions; perfect be our unity.
-Hindu Scriptures Rig-Veda

Jewish Prayer
When evil darkens our world, give us light.
When despair numbs our souls, give us hope.
When we stumble and fall, lift us up.
When doubts assail us, give us faith.
When nothing seems sure, give us trust.
When we lose our way, be our guide!
That we may find serenity in your presence, and purpose in doing your will.

Before Meals
Bless us, O Lord, and these Your gifts which we are about to receive from Your bounty through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
-Traditional Catholic Meal Blessing

We pause to give thanks for the blessings of this meal. May the food an our conversation celebrate God's goodness and inspire us to greater service - and, we ask all this in God's name. Amen.

We thank You, Lord, for gathering us here to share this day and this meal. We are grateful for time with friends, for fond memories and the food that has been prepared for us. Keep us mindful of those less fortunate than we and creative in ways to share Your love. Bless us, these gifts and fill us with gratitude and love as we celebrate in Your name.

We give You thanks Almighty God for all the blessings You have bestowed upon us through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
-Traditional Catholic meal thanksgiving prayer.

For Health care Workers
Loving God, we remember how our sick and dying sisters and brothers and sisters reflect the image of Christ among us. Do not let us grow cold to their needs. We pray for all those involved in healthcare ministry and pledge our prayerful support to those daily caregivers: the physicians, nurses, aides, therapists, pharmacists, food service workers and all those whose work impacts the lives of the sick. And for ourselves, in our own way part of the healing ministry of Jesus, we pray that we might be encouraged and renewed in our commitment of service. You, who dwell among us, hold us with Your tenderness and bid us do the same for one another. Lay Your gentle hand upon each of us as we make our own journey to wholeness. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
-Barbara McCullen, CDP, Catholic Health Association

Prayer in Time of Sickness
O God, You love us in our times of weakness and hurt. Help us remember that You listen to the cries of our pain. Speak softly a word of comfort in our ears. Make Your presence known in this place of healing. Warm the cold of isolation, touch gently with a reach of Your hand our hurts and suffering. Lighten our stress in this time of tension. Heal our heart. mind, body and spirit. Transform powerfully with Your love our dis-ease. Comfort us in this place of healing. Lift our eyes to see a clearer vision of wellness in our time of turmoil. Amen.
-Pastoral Care Department, STHS

In Remembrance of Those Who Have Died
Loving God,
A candle burns in my heart and warms my soul.
It never flickers. It never wanes.
It is the memory of those I love
Who are now at home with You
I ask You to keep them close to Your heart.
Keep them in the bright flame of Your love.
As I prepare for my own journey,
Help me to understand death is but a doorway
To new and eternal life. Amen.
-Sisters of Providence, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana

For the Death in the Family
Dear Lord, Sometimes it is hard to understand the pain that comes into our lives.
This is the most true when we lose one we love.
At this time, we remember that life is a circle.
You have given us eternal life.
In dying, our loved one has come back to You
As will we all, in our time.
The mystery of this is that sadness brings us
to our greatest happiness.
Bless, with Your presence,
those we love and miss.
-Sisters of Providence, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana