You asked for my hands
that you might use them for your purpose.
I gave them for a moment then withdrew them
for the work was hard.
You asked for my mouth
to speak out against injustice.
I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.
You asked for my eyes
to see the pain of poverty.
I closed them for I did not want to see.
You asked for my life
that you might work through me.
I gave a small part that I might not get too involved.
Lord, forgive my calculated efforts to serve you,
only when it is convenient for me to do so,
only in those places where it is safe to do so,
and only with those who make it easy to do so.
Father, forgive me,
send me out
as a usable instrument,
that I might take seriously
the meaning of your cross.
Joe Seremane, South Africa.
may I ever speak
as though it were the last word that I can speak.
May I ever act
as though it were the last action that I can perform
May I ever suffer
as though it were the last pain that I can offer.
May I ever pray
as though it were for me on earth
the last chance to speak to you.
Chiara Lubich, founder of The Focolare Movement, Italy
you identify with the weak and powerless,
and surprise us as we seek to do your will.
Help us to find true hope
in the now of our action
rather than in the distant future of our longing.
Joy Tetley, England.