congregation of the sisters of st joseph of peace
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Special Prayer for Children

June 20, 2018
                prepared by Carmel Little, CSJP

“Let the little children come to me.  Do not hinder them. 
The reign of God belongs to such as these.”   Luke 18:16

From the very beginning the sisters involved themselves
in the ministries of social service, education and health care.
They worked directly with the poor and sick in their homes,
provided housing and care for women, orphans, and blind children and adults,
and, as need arose, established schools and hospitals. #7
As a person of faith, I look to the prophetic tradition of the Hebrew Bible
for inspiration and guidance on how to live my life.
The Bible tells us again and again that we are commanded to welcome the stranger.
We are commanded again and again to protect the widow, the orphan, the vulnerable in our midst.
We are commanded to welcome the stranger for we were strangers in the land of Egypt.
The separation of migrant children from their families at the border is abhorrent and cruel. . . .
The reported physical mistreatment of minors, including pregnant teens and those who have recently given birth,
as well as the separation of children as young as 18 months old from their parents, is horrific.
As Americans, as people of faith, as human beings…. we cannot justify these actions. 
There must be a more compassionate way.
At this moment…. we have come to gather, to be informed, to protest
but also, to pray.
And so, let us pray:
Holy One on High….
Our hearts are broken to see our fellow human beings treated with cruelty.
Our hearts are broken when we hear of small children being torn from their mother’s arms,
when we imagine their fears when we imagine their tears, we shed tears as well.
Protector of all….
Grant these parents and children strength to endure the journey of their lives.
Let them feel our love and concern….
Let them know that though they suffer their plight is not unknown.
so that they can be blessing to our world. Amen.
Granter of compassion….
Imbue our leaders with compassionate hearts and sound minds.
Inspire them to make decisions that protect our boarders…Yes!
but also, decisions that protect the safety and dignity
of those who cry out to be saved….
of all human beings who want nothing more than safety and security….
a future for their families and their selves.
Avinu Shebashmayim…Our father on high…. Give us strength of purpose to speak
up for what we believe in, to see the good in others, to act justly and to demand
justice for those who cannot speak for themselves…. AMEN
                              Mara Nathan is the Rabbi at Temple Beth-El
San Antonio, Texas. 
Quiet Reflection
Concluding Prayer:
“Let the little children come to me.  Do not hinder them.
The reign of God belongs to such as these.”   Luke 18:16
O God, we believe that peacemaking means planting seeds of compassion.
Strengthen in us the desire to work for the life and goodness
of our children embracing them in compassion and love.
Bless all children with hearts of compassion and love,
so that they can be blessings to our world.  Amen.

Peace Prayer

"If our role as messengers of God’s good news means anything to us, the chorus of people begging for peace will touch a special place in our hearts. "

Patricia Lynch, CSJP