Then with much grief and anguish of heart I wept, and with groaning began to pray:
‘You are righteous, O Lord,
and all your deeds are just;
all your ways are mercy and truth;
you judge the world.
And now, O Lord, remember me
and look favorably upon me.
Do not punish me for my sins
and for my unwitting offences
and those that my ancestors committed before you.
They sinned against you,
and disobeyed your commandments.
So you gave us over to plunder, exile, and death,
to become the talk, the byword, and an object of reproach,
among all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.
And now your many judgments are true
in exacting penalty from me for my sins.
For we have not kept your commandments
and have not walked in accordance with truth before you.
So now deal with me as you will;
command my spirit to be taken from me,
so that I may be released from the face of the earth and become dust.
For it is better for me to die than to live,
because I have had to listen to undeserved insults,
and great is the sorrow within me.
Command, O Lord, that I be released from this distress;
release me to go to the eternal home,
and do not, O Lord, turn your face away from me.
For it is better for me to die
than to see so much distress in my life
and to listen to insults.’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s first reading from Tobit reminds me of a beautiful prayer attributed to a confederate soldier. Let the prayer speak for itself:
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I got nothing I asked for, but everything I hoped for;
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus
Lord, where I go, you are there. Where I find
solace and comfort, you are standing near.
Where darkness crowds into my light, you push
back the emptiness and bring me into your
Where hope and opportunity encourage me
onward, you gently nudge me forward.
Where division builds it walls, your wisdom frees
me to remove the bricks, one at a time.
And where everything makes sense and where
love surrounds every moment of my being,
There I am eternally one with you and with all
who have loved me throughout my days on earth.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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