Giving thanks in a difficult year - Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Maryknoll lay missioner Filo Siles with children in Entre Rios, Bolivia. The children show off the face masks and care packages they just received from the Social Justice Foundation.

Help us to embrace the duality of this past year,
To stretch our arms around the good and the bad,
New life and painful loss
both in abundance.

Help us to see through the eyes of your Son,
A gaze of infinite compassion
The Christ consciousness that teaches
To love even the things that hurt us.

And when we ask,
Where were you when one million people died of this virus?
Or when a man’s life ended with an officer’s knee on his neck?
And what about when immigrant children were put in cages?

Let us believe that you were there in the hospitals,
Caring for the sick through the hands of a nurse,
That every life-saving breath administered through a ventilator
Was a divine sigh.

In the midst of police violence,
Let us believe you were standing with the peacemakers,
Crying for mercy,
And that even your heart was broken.

And let us believe that You were the Father
Of the fatherless children of detention centers,
That each moment of play or comfort,
Was You smiling back at us.

Help us to recognize your presence in the midst of this suffering,
To unload the burden of a difficult year,
And to offer both the good and the bad
For the transformation of our world.


This prayer appears in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Voices of Compassion. To read a PDF copy of the magazine, click here.

You can find an archive of previous issues of Voices of Compassion magazine here.


Sam Janson
Sam Janson served as a Maryknoll lay missioner in Mwanza, Tanzania (Class of 2018). He is studying for his master of public health degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.