Teach Me Humility

"Teach me to humble myself
even before the lowliest
of Your children,
whose very brokenness
brings them closer
to You."
— Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in The Gentle Weapon by Moshe Mykoff, ed.

Reading the Newspaper

"God our Governor, our Judge, our Peace:
the pains of the world snag my heart,
and its turmoils trouble my mind.
There is much I wish to help
but cannot change.
There is much I grieve in the actions of others
but cannot control.

"I rest this globe in your hands.
I trust it to your will, your justice, and your love.
I cry to you for its people in their distress.
I pledge to do my part, in my time and place,
to bring your reign near.
I release all I cannot help into your mercy
and into the hands of sisters and brothers
I do not know.

"Give me a quiet mind, a spirit of hope,
and an energy of love
for the work and the rest to which you call me.

"Give me the humility to live
gracefully with my limitations,
but without despair."
— Jennifer M. Phillips in Simple Prayers for Complicated Lives

Prayer for World Peace
on the anniversary of 9/11

Great God, who has told us "Vengeance is Mine,"
Save us from ourselves,
Save us from the vengeance in our hearts
And the acid in our souls.

Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt,
To punish as we have been punished,
To terrorize as we have been terrorized.

Give us the strength it takes
To listen rather than to judge,
To trust rather than to fear,
To try again and again
To make peace even when peace eludes us.

We ask, O God, for the grace
To be our best selves.
We ask for the vision to be builders of the human community
Rather than its destroyers.
We ask for the humility as a people
To understand the fears and hopes of other peoples.
We ask for the love it takes
To bequeath to the children of the world to come
More than the failures of our own making.
We ask for the heart it takes to care for all the peoples
Of Afghanistan and Iraq, of Palestine and Israel
As well as for ourselves.

Give us the depth of soul, O God,
To constrain our might,
To resist the temptations of power,
To refuse to attack the attackable,
To understand that vengeance begets violence,
And to bring peace, not war, wherever we go.

For You, O God, have been merciful to us.
For You, O God, have been patient with us.
For You, O God, have been gracious to us.

And so, may we be merciful
And patient
And gracious
And trusting
With these others who You also love.

This we ask through Jesus,
The One without vengeance in his heart.
This we ask forever and ever.
— Joan Chittister