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A Prayer for Alejandro Ripley

by Francis Etheredge, Profiles in Catholicism

One Life Uprooted

Dear God the Father, Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth,

Your love loves each life into being, both fragile and firm,

Each beautiful, both burgeoning but inheriting a blemish,

Just as your love acts in the union out of which we spring,

So you enrich us with the many helps that, together,

Strengthen, colour and enhance our gift of life

Swelling, growing, expressing what is hidden –

Receive the sprouting seed, the seedling, the young plant,

Prematurely plucked from the soil that nourished it,

Tragically uprooted, not transplanted, withered not watered.

Dear Lord, Only Son of the Father, Merciful Redeemer of All,

You know the plight of parents, their struggles and strife,

The long hours and lonely difficulties that blight our lives,

You know both the delights and the temptations that would

Turn us back from the beginning that you planned and planted

Between us, as delicate as a fledgling plant, too helpless

To roam far and wide, too young to leave, too needy to be left –

Forgive the suppressing suffocation of the help we did not seek,

The terrible turning from the turn towards you to complete

What you began and wanted to flourish in the fullness of life.

Oh Holy Spirit and Lord of Life, Gift from Gift and Help of All,

Turn us all to the help of each and everyone who lives:

Turn parents back to their children’s nurture and neediness,

Turn mother’s back from being lost in labyrinthine ways,

Turn father’s back to loving their wives and helping in the home,

Turn children back to discovering their good gifts, freely given,

Turn the family back to fostering the good of all.

Dear Jesus, Son of Mary and Child in the Care of St. Joseph,

You lived through the childhood of children,

Silently but significantly present, inviting us to remember

Your presence among us at all times and in any place –

Walk with us through all our joys and sorrows and

Show us, in ways unique to you, how to heal broken wounds

And accompany those untimely taken to the Father’s heart;

Dear Mary, Mother of the Lord and Spouse of Joseph,

You passed in the midst of many and profound sufferings,

You know the hardship of fleeing violence, struggling with little,

Opening your home to others and being with your dying son –

Make your presence known to us in the daily difficulties of life,

Bringing consolation, hope and inspiration to pass through

the impassable problems, whether obvious or hidden;

Dear St. Joseph, Guardian of the Child Jesus and Spouse of Mary,

You experienced the trials of poverty and persecution,

Protecting your family and trading in uncertain times,

Opening your skills and talents to those around you –

Lead us in recovering our neglect as husbands and fathers,

Guiding us in our work, recreation and choice of companions,

Enabling us to bridge home and work, faithful to all.

Oh Blessed Trinity, Origin of Creation and all that is good,

Cause of the people of God and the mystery of the Holy Family,

Be present in our daily life, ever drawing us out of our resistance

To calling on you each and every day on the path that pulls

Us through the vortex of time, drawing ever more people

Heavenward, while multiplying the cultivation of the earth

Through which we pass, as pilgrims, bequeathing ever greater

Benefits to those who remain and raising a song of praise,

Ever resounding, ever mounting the reasons for thanksgiving.


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