how can we fail
to gather all mankind
into prayer,
since your Divine Son,
our brother,
Jesus Christ,
shed his blood
for all men,
of all lands,
of all times?

But hear, 0 Lord,
my special prayer
for my people,
the voiceless ones.
There are thousands
and thousands
of human creatures
in the poor countries,
and in the slums
of the rich countries,
with no right
to raise their voices,
no possibility
of claiming
of protesting,
however just
are the rights
they have to uphold.

The homeless,
the starving,
the ragged,
the wasted,
with no chance
of education,
no work,
no future,
no hope;
they may end up
it was meant to be,
and losing heart,
become the silent,
the voiceless ones.

If all of us
who believe in You
had helped our rich brothers,
by opening their eyes,
stirring their consciences,
the unjust
would not have advanced,
and the gap
between rich and poor,
between individuals and groups,
between countries,
even between continents,
would not be so glaring.

Do in us, O Lord,
what we have failed
and still fail to do.
How difficult it is
to get beyond the barrier
of aid, of gifts,
of assistance,
and reach the
realm of justice!
The privileged grow angry:
our judgment
is unfair, they say.
Meanwhile they discover subversion
and Communism
in the most democratic,
the most human, the most
Christian gestures!

Dom Helder Camara in Dom Helder Camara: Essential Writings by Dom Helder Camara, Francis McDonagh