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Praying to act

Praying to act

 …. we pray for all those in our world who are suffering from injustice:

For those who are discriminated against because of their race, colour or religion;
For those imprisoned for working for the relief of oppression;
For those who are hounded for speaking the inconvenient truth;
For those tempted to violence as a cry against overwhelming hardship;
For those deprived of reasonable health and education;
For those suffering from hunger and famine;
For those too weak to help themselves and who have no one else to help them;
For the unemployed who cry out for work but do not find it.
We pray for anyone of our acquaintance who is personally affected by injustice.

Forgive us, Great Spirit, if we unwittingly share in the conditions or in a system that perpetuates injustice.

Show us how we can serve your children and make your love practical in the world.

(from Facebook post by Contemplative InterbeingHERE).

On my way into work this morning I read this prayer for all those suffering from injustice in our world, having gone to sleep the night before with the current daily wounds of injustice in my heart and soul from Belarus to Beirut, from Africa to China, across North and South America and a European social and political landscape that is almost unrecognisable.

The story of Nano Nagle’s life continues
to resonate powerfully among us
in our varied contexts and
in a world very different to hers.

We recognise
the more she moved among people,
especially the poor,
the more she was drawn to prayer
and mystical union with God,
the source of her energy and mission.

Inspired by her example,
we become as she was
a prophetic presence and voice
in the service of people made poor.

We work to ensure
the dignity of persons is respected
and their rights upheld
by engaging in compassionate service …

(From ‘Our Way of Life’, C7).

Praying to act 

Nano reminds us of the reality of prayer as the essential starting point for meaningful action, not just expected of those we can often see as ‘out there’ with responsibility for the world on the grand scale of things, but also for each of us on a daily basis wherever we find ourselves confronted by the fall out of injustices, oft times silently and surreptitiously perpetrated on our behalf.

Nano Nagle was a woman of faith and action – where prayer and relationship was only the starting point.  This woman of welcoming and courageous heart stopped at nothing to love practically and to address the systemic injustices evident amidst the insurmountable challenges of her time and place. As a consequence she lit something powerful in the hearts and minds and actions of those who today continue to respond to her evolving legacy of social action, prayer and support, locally and globally for those kept poor by systems and structures far beyond their making.

As Presentation people our vision, like Nano’s, reaches way beyond our local situations and has a universal consciousness and outreach.  We are all inter-connected.

So today with Nano – let us continue ‘praying to act’.

To find out more about Nano Nagle see Nano’s letters – a digital collection

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