God of freedom and love, we are saddened to know that more than one million people are trafficked into slavery each year.
The effects of contemporary slavery are felt in every country around the world.
As sisters and brothers, we are tormented by this reality that will leave devastating repercussions for generations to come.
Our hearts grieve for what our minds can barely comprehend, particularly when we hear of women, men, and children who are deceived and transported to unknown places.
We recognize this sexual and economic exploitation occurs because of human greed and profit.
We are sorrowful and our spirits angry that human dignity is being degraded through deception and threats of force.
Help the violators to be transformed and enlightened to realise the scope of their unjust actions.
Allow them to see the value and the dignity of every human person.
As a people in solidarity with God's poor, we must protest this atrocity and work against the demeaning practice of human trafficking.
God of Life, strengthen those whose hearts have been broken and lives have been uprooted.
Give us the light, grace, and courage to work with you so that we can all participate in the goodness of creation.
Fill us with the wisdom and courage to stand in solidarity with the victims so that we may all enjoy the freedoms and rights which have their source in your Son, Jesus Christ.
Adapted from a prayer by Sr. Genevieve Cassani, Franciscans International.
See also the prayer resources from the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center.
Women are a reflection of the glory of God. Today we honor the women of all times and all places:
Women of courage.
Women of hope.
Women living fully.
Women experiencing joy.
Women delighting in life.
Women knowing the interconnectedness of the human family.
Women honoring the sacredness of the relational, the affective.
Women quietly tending the garden of human flourishing.
Women boldly leading the transformation of unjust global structures.
Women seeking Wisdom.
Women sharing Wisdom.
Women receiving Love.
Women giving Love.
Women: the image of God.
Loving God, we celebrate your faithfulness and love. On this day we commit ourselves to the promotion of the full humanity of all women everywhere. We know that whatever denies, diminishes, or distorts the full humanity of women is not of God.
Help us to be faithful to your call to love.
O God, pour out on us the water of life
that we may quench our thirst
and draw our strength from you.
Help us to stand alongside those
who struggle daily for clean water
so that all may be
refreshed and renewed by your love.
Spirit of Wisdom,
bless us with greater knowledge of
and compassion for Mother Earth.
Fill us with love for all her sentient beings,
the holy ground on which we step,
the life-giving air we breathe,
the healing water to be shared
among plants and creatures alike,
and the finite resources that are gifts
never to be taken for granted.
(Taken from an email alert by Diane Lopez-Hughes and sent from Pax Christi)
Let us celebrate our faith heritage, our Congregation's heritage, our personal heritage and all who have been part of our journey:
We celebrate the faith and gifts of each person who has served the Congregation and kept its spirit and mission alive.
We celebrate the creativity and resourcefulness of those, past and present, who enable others to live more humanely and deeply.
We celebrate the wisdom of our Sisters who believed, trusted, worked and walked with the Spirit, for their tenacity and patience, for their vision and hope.
We celebrate the hospitality and goodness, the compassion and faithfulness of our Sisters in the past, and all who continue to live the spirit and mission in ways which engender peace.
(From Pray Peace: Prayers for Community Days and Celebrations)
Creator God, you blessed us with earth's abundance, and charged us with stewardship for your creation. Your prophets called us to faithfulness, to bring good news to the poor and to proclaim Jubilee. Bless us with our gifts of faith and citizenship. May your message ring out through our words and deeds. Open the eyes and hearts of our leaders, that we may as a nations rise to the challenge and dedicate our resources to ending hunger in your world. Thus may we see the light of Christ shine forth to all the ends of the earth. Amen.
(From Bread for the World)
We believe in the goodness and value of women,
as Christ did throughout his life;
we rejoice in their strength and compassion.
We look forward to the future in faith and hope,
praying and working for the day
when all God's children are truly respected
and free to develop and use all their gifts,
and to share in all the benefits of human life and work.
We look forward to an age of peace
when violence in all its forms is ended
and men, women and children live in true peace.
Dear God, we ask you to walk with us in our HIV and AIDS filled world. We pray expecting Your presence among us!
Be with all who live with the effects of this disease.
Be with those who wait to die because they have no access to medication.
Be with children who received HIV as a legacy from their parents.
Be with orphans and families who have lost loved ones.
Be with countries who have millions of citizens with HIV/AIDS.
Be with all who are stigmatised and ignored because they have HIV or AIDS.
Be with politicians and corporate executives who control access to affordable medications.
Be with researchers and scientists who work to find a cure.
Be with healthcare workers and caregivers who comfort and encourage.
Be with all who have lost hope because of HIV and AIDS.
God, we hear the angel's song of peace! Fill the hearts of people around the world with good will so that together we can work for justice and healing for all who suffer from HIV and AIDS. Amen.
(from the Diakonia Council of Churches, based in Durban, South Africa)
"So yes, we are forever beginning, and the best we can do is be very grateful that each new beginning is one more chance to grow. "
Margaret Byrne, CSJP