Day 16

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones. —Isaiah 49.13

God of our songs of praise, God of our prayers of lament:

No matter how much we may deny it, suffering is part of the human condition. Although we try to ignore or self-medicate away our pain with things that numb us, distract us, make us feel better for a fleeting moment, these are all temporary fixes. Make your presence known to us today in all the places and ways we are suffering, for we know that your compassionate love can bring us true comfort. Amen.

 

Day 17

If we all carry a little of the burden, it will be lightened. If we share in the suffering of the world, then some will not have to endure so heavy an affliction. It evens out. —Dorothy Day

God in those we reach out to with helping hands, God in those we listen to with compassionate hearts:

The gospel tells us that when we feed the hungry, care for the sick, visit the prisoner, welcome the stranger, we are not only carrying a little of the burden for one another, we are doing so for you. Show us the places you are calling us to share in the suffering of the world so that we may be the hands of Christ at work today. Amen.

 

Day 18

God is present in everything. In the universe, in creation, in me and all that happens to me, in my brothers and sisters, in the church, and in the Eucharist—everywhere. —Thea Bowman

God in the glimmer of a firefly, God in the fiery light of the sun:

The early church taught that your face could be glimpsed in all creation, yet over the centuries too many humans have looked at the natural world as resource rather than revelation. As we look out the window, go for a stroll, watch the slow unfurling of the seasons, help us to see clearly your presence leading us to walk gently and compassionately in the world. Amen.

 

Day 19

Let us not use bombs and guns to overcome the world. Let us use love and compassion. —Mother Teresa

God of our righteous anger, God of our measured response:

There are so many things in this world we want to change—systems, people, ourselves. Help us know when to take a step forward to stand with those who seek justice and when to take a step back to consider how to respond with love and compassion, so that we may build bridges rather than walls between us, and effect real change in our world. Amen.

Day 20

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. —Matthew 9:36

God with us at our very best, God with us at our very worst:

In the gospels we read over and over how Jesus had compassion for those he encountered. We offer gratitude for the ways you shepherd us through times when we are lost and lonely. Bless us, Good Shepherd, and keep us in your compassionate embrace. Amen.