Prayer for 2015

Some may be aghast at the word prayer in the title of this post, but I encourage tolerance. It is not my prayer. Further, whether or not one believes matters little in this reading. Rather than beginning the way the author begins the prayer, one could say, “Good and Gracious Humanity.”

Author Mark Sandlin posts on Patheos and also contributes to Huff Post Soujouners.

A Prayer of Awakening for 2015

Good and gracious God,
Awaken us.

May 2015 be the year we see
violence,
oppression,
hatred,
hoarding,
power,
and
privilege
with eyes wide open.

Even as we’ve made progress in 2014,
assuring more equality
for some,
and enlivening
a sense of
righteous resistance
against the abuse of power
in others,
we have continued
to live in
an all too routine awareness
of the places in this world
where people needlessly suffer
and are abused.

Aware,
but not significantly motivated
to risk our own
abundance or wellbeing
in order to make
the world better for us all.

Awaken us
from our false assumptions
that tell us
we can continue on that way
and hope to make a better world.

Awaken us
from our denial
of the reality that
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Awaken us
to the reality that
far too many suffer from the injustice
of not having their basic needs met,
their fundamental human rights met;
clean water,
enough food,
safety,
a roof under which to sleep,
access to heath care,
the right to be treated with dignity,
the right to be treated equally,
freedom from slavery,
freedom from discrimination,
access to education,
reasonable privacy,
life,
the pursuit of happiness.

Help us to not only recognize these rights,
but to recognize that when any lack in them,
it is a threat to all of your Creation.

In 2015,
awaken us
and encourage us
to pursue access for all people
to those basic human rights…

… and may we “not be satisfied
until justice rolls down like waters
and righteousness
like a mighty stream.”

And in the dark times
that we will surely experience
as we confront those
who wish to hold on tightly
to their power and their privilege,
may we be a light
to one another.

Awaken us
to the reality that the
love,
kindness,
joy,
hope,
peace
and grace
that we offer to each other
are not only
the only truly valuable
things in this life,
but they are the means
through which
we can all work
to create a better
2015.

So, awaken us…

Awaken us to each other.

Awaken us to the systemic damage
that occurs every time
even one person
is abused, oppressed or marginalized.

Awaken us to our connectedness.

And awaken us to the possibilities
already present
in this new year.

Amen.

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4 thoughts on “Prayer for 2015

  1. How do you define a prayer? On Christmas Eve, I went to a Catholic Midnight Mass in the 12th century Templar Church in my old village. Ajat. It isn’t a question of belief. But it was a desire to be a part of a community, a culture, a tradition. It was everything in your “prayer”…people will continue to go to midnight Christmas Eve Mass in that ancient structure until the stones crumble, which won’t happen for a long time, because the mayor of the village just finished a project of reroofing the structure in the traditional manner…they didn’t use tiles, but the ancient technique of lauze…which are pieces of split limestone, laid like tiles. The mayor of Ajat is an old friend of mine, I know he is not religious in any traditional sense, but it is the reality of being part of something, a link in the tradition and he was singing as loud as I was with about 250 other people. If it isn’t one thing, it would be another. It is our condition as social beings. We need to celebrate, we need the threads, we need each other.

  2. Thank you, Microdot. This prayer is akin to a Wish List for Humanity. Yet isn’t it sad that x-thousand years after humans became aware of that humanity in one another, we need a list of how to do it correctly.

    On another note, I wish I knew the history of that 12th century Templar Church. What a treasure for you and the people nearby!

  3. A little background…Ajat was a Templar Commanderie..There are still structures in the little village that were part of the fortifications. Their role was the protection of the pilgrims who went to Compostolo, Spain. That was a ritual of discovery and penance that brought travellers together from all over Europe. The badge of the pilgrim was a scallop shell. The routes are still visible and in many cases became the roads that connected the villages…you can still find the carved scallop shell markers on buildings as sort of route markers. To this day, many people take it upon themselves for many reasons to make the journey on foot. I have a friend out side of Bergerac who has a nice rural property that one of the lesser routes cuts across. She and her husband built a little guest house to lodge hikers for in the old tradition. The Templars brought back knowledge and techniques from the Crusades. Most major Templar churches are romanesque and have rounded naves. The eglise de St. Martin in Ajat is particularly magnificent. The floor is huge rock slabs that mark the graves of notables that have been interred in the church over the centuries. I live closer now to a village named Condat-sur-Vezere that was a major Templar Commanderie. Many of the fortifications still stand are used to this day. Ajat and Condat are both located along the road that has evolved into a major highway over the centuries.
    My village, Badefols d’Ans was originally a monastic community that was founded around 650! The name Badefols is a corruption of the Occitanian dialect…a sort of bastardized Celtic/Latin that is still spoken around here and is undergoing a revival. The legend of the name involves a hermit monk who lived in a cave at the top of the hill who had a very loud voice. Every Sunday morning, he would get up early and start hollering his head off for every one to get up and go to church! Bade=screaming, yelling, barking…Fols:Idiot….Man of the place names around here are pre French…I live near a place called Fougeyrolles….that sort of translates to Fern covered wall. Occitanian dialect was the language spoken here until the early 20th century! It varied from little region to region, so some one who met a person from say 30 kilometers away might have some common grammar to share, but in many cases…you might need a translator.

  4. Fascinating! I love these types of historical minutia. The town was founded in 650? What was going on there at that early date? Surely it was not a Christian settlement. Frank? Goth?

    Enjoy! Envy here.

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