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Religious Orders | Franciscans

Updated: May 27, 2021

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred let me sow love;

Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is doubt, faith;

Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;

Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled as to console;

To be understood as to understand;

To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


by Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

A Prayer for Children In Kenya Who Need HIV Drugs or They Will Die:

A friend of the editor, Gordon Nary, called Francis Otieno[1], lives in Africa and has been caring for children with HIV for many years. He is totally out of money which means that the children could die. Gordon is addressing this challenge in the June 1st issue of “Profiles in Catholicism”. Francis: “Nothing is too little to make a positive difference. Every dollar counts. Please send donations to PayPal:

“Hoping against Hope” (cf. CCC, 1819)

A Prayer for Children Living in Poverty who Need HIV Drugs:

Lord, you know how much it cost to come to our aid:

To leave and to remain in the mystery of your dwelling in eternity;

The years of being in the family; working; going on pilgrimage; Walking; the friendships; wasting time with each one of us; the Miracles; the rejections; the celebrations that turned into a Crucifixion; the resurrection and the many visitations; and, in the end,

You have sent us the abiding presence of Your Holy Spirit.

Lord, you know how much is sealed in our pocket:

You know our choice of clothes; the bags and jewellery we buy; the Money we spend on “treats” and “sweets”, whether they are bigger Cars than we need; better dishwashers; bigger screens; longer Holidays; quicker and slicker phones; trainers with a trade name; Socks with a face; an outfit for climbing, running, and more – So

You sent us the Holy Spirit to loosen us from our baggage.

Lord, you know the neediness of those who need our help:

You know the help we need to understand being too poor to provide For orphans; to buy medicines; to buy the underclothes and other Helpful items we need; to pay for travel; school; school clothes; rent; Food; to support widows; to help the carers care; to keep in contact With each other; and to further the gifts of each and everyone here –

So send us the Holy Spirit to make it possible for us to be generous!

by Francis Etheredge, author of the forthcoming:

Within Reach of You: A Book of Prose and Prayers:

Prayer for the Victims of the Violence in the Middle East

Oh Lord, we join together with Pope Francis, praying for an end to the conflict between Israel and the terrorist Hamas, and between Israeli Jews and Palestinians. We join together in prayer for all of the victims of this conflict, men, women, parents, and especially the children who have died or been wounded. May you take them into your infinite Love, Oh Lord, and give them and their families peace and hope for a better future for all. Oh Lord, we pray that our country and other democracies around the world will be able to work together to help to end this terrible conflict so that those who have been harmed and the families of children who have been killed or hurt may mourn and begin to heal in a way that will ensure a peaceful resolution of this conflict and find a path to lasting peace, living together in harmony and community rather than conflict. by Dr. Eugene Fisher Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for Unity

We are one

Give us the strength of mind and heart, with friendship by our side,

knowing we are not alone but in family love we are grounded and reside.

The power to meet the challenge of each and every day.

Is within us to endure and heal and overcome the pain no matter what they say.

Blessed are those who truly care and with us endure and take a stand

In oneness and in friendship will give a hug and hold our hand.

It is that love that holds us and makes us resilient, wise and strong,

With your inspiration Lord we can endure the pain until it is dead and gone.

We wait in your presence, Goodness and enduring love,

We see the freedom and embrace the light descending from above,

You give us faith and power to overcome,

We are together, as true family, we are one.

Amen by Father Shay Cullen Profiles in Catholicism

Dear Lord

Welcome the souls of those who were murdered in San Jose and comforter their

families and friends. Please inspire our politicians to propose and pass effective legislation that will reduce and hopefully eliminate such incomprehensible crimes.

by Sarah Lyon Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for Siluvaimuthu Lazer

Loving Lord,

Please welcome your loving servant Siluvaimuthu Lazer into your infinite loving embrace after dying from Covid-19. Pease comfort his son Alwinrex Lazar and all of his family for their loss and remind them that Siluvaimuthu is infinitely happy with the Lord whom he loves.

by Gordon Nary Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer for the Bishops and Priests have died from Covid 19 in Mexico

Good and Gracious God,

We ask you to bless the people of Mexico who have lost 5 bishops and 220 priest during the time of this pandemic. We ask you to bless them with your love in their seemingly unending pain. Help them to realize that you will stay with them and help them at this time and always.

We ask you to bless their country and all countries by providing the call to serve you, Lord, as a priest. Fill the hearts of young men with your love and desire to serve you as they continue on their journey in life. Bless all who live in the horror of this pandemic and rid it from us. We ask you this through Jesus Christ your Son, Our Lord

by Eileen Quinn Knight, Ph.D. Profiles in Catholicism

A Prayer to Prevent Antisemitism

Creator God, your Son, our brother Jesus, would have died in the

Holocaust because of the antisemitic attitudes that too many

Christians promoted since he was a faithful Jew. Keeping

in mind Jesus' strong rootage in Judaism and our many

failures in the past with regard to antisemitism we offer our prayer

and our support to our Jewish brothers and sisters as they face

yet another outbreak of this cancer in our body politic. Our

prayer today is a proclamation of solidarity and a

commitment to public action against this continuing scourge. by Father John Pawlikowski,OSM Profiles in Catholicism



Book Reviews and Commentaries

Television Reviews/Commentaries

Film Reviews/Commentaries

  • Lady of Guadalupe Reviewed by Rose Pacatte National Catholic Reporter

  • Stu Commentary by Jesus Caritas Est Catholic News World

  • A Quiet Place Part II Reviewed by Deacon Steven D. Greydanus National Catholic Register

  • A Man for All Seasons Reviewed by Avellina Balestri Patheos

  • Wrath of Man Reviewed by Mark Kennedy The Associated Press

  • Minari Commentary by Emily McFarlan Miller Religion News Service

  • Monster Reviewed by John Mulderig Catholic News Service

Theater Commentary


All The Beauty I See

“Oh! pleasant exercise of hope and joy!

For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood

Upon our side, we who were strong in love!

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,

But to be young was very heaven!”

These are the words of Wordsworth recalling his earlier

enthusiasm for the French Revolution. He saw it as the

dawning of a new age of hope where all people were free

and equal and lived in harmony. He went to live in

France to experience the new society. However paranoia

and fear gripped the new revolution. War was

threatened. The Reign of Terror had begun. It became

a dangerous place for the young English poet and he left


He returned to England a sadder man. However he did

not lose his dreams. He decided to use his poetry to

express his ideals. He wandered through England

gathering the stories of ordinary people and these

inspired his poetry. These were his heroes. He would use

emotion and psychological truth in his poetry. He was

told emotion was not to be trusted, as many of us were,

but he saw emotion as a central part of our makeup.

In one of his poems ‘The Ruined Cottage’ he tells the

story of how a family was ruined, how the husband

deserted his wife, Margaret. She is broken and in despair.

Wordsworth describes her watchfulness at her husband’s


“On this old Bench

For hours she sate, and evermore her eye

Was busy in the distance, shaping things

Which made her heart beat quick.”

(Ruined Cottage MS b 490-3)

She looks to the horizon hoping to see her husband,

Robert, come home but he never does. She is powerless

to save her children or herself. This is a tragic narrative

to the social and political context of its time. Margaret

and her children perish.

Yet for Wordsworth she is not dead. She is alive in

Wordsworth’s poem. To those who read his poetry she is

alive. Even though unnoticed by the world Wordsworth

brings her to life and stirs the conscience of his readers.

Wordsworth is regarded as the poet of nature. In 1790

he went to the Alps. He was struck by the majesty of the

mountains. He could feel his own smallness. The beauty

of the Alps, he imagined, helped him touch eternity. This

vision of the sacredness of nature would never leave him.

He believed that by helping people appreciate nature

their spirits would be refreshed. Their spirits would be

free. This was also a protest against the dehumanising

effects of the Industrial Revolution. The opening line of

his poem ‘Tintern Abbey’ show us this love for nature:

“Five years have past; five summers, with the length

Of five long winters! and again I hear

These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs

With a soft inland murmur.–Once again

Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,

That on a wild secluded scene impress

Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect

The landscape with the quiet of the sky.”

His early poetry was not, seemingly, religious as such but

yet it lifted the spirits of people and it led some to faith.

Our appreciation of nature, our appreciation of sunsets

comes from Wordsworth and the others in the Romantic

movement. They opened our eyes to the beauty around us.

St. Francis:

For St. Bonaventure the world is the perfect expression

of the Father. It expresses the Word (Logos) who is the

exemplar. The cosmic order is a vast symbol in which

God speaks his majesty. The world is a symbol that is

meant to be read. Wordsworth would have approved. For

St. Bonaventure this symbolic dimension of all things is

disclosed through the incarnate Word of God (Logos),

Jesus the Christ. He sees St. Francis as the one who,

through his fidelity to the incarnate Word, is able to

interpret mystical meaning within the great symbol of


“Aroused by all things to the love of God, he rejoiced

in all the works of the Lord’s hands and from these

joy-producing manifestations he rose to their lifegiving

principle and cause. In beautiful things he saw

Beauty itself and through his vestiges imprinted on

creation he followed his Beloved everywhere, making

all things a ladder by which he could climb up and

embrace Him who is utterly desirable. With a feeling

of unprecedented devotion he savoured in each and

every creature – as in so many streams – that

Goodness which is their fountain source.”

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis issued an encyclical

focused on the environment called ‘Laudato Si’. He took

the title from St. Francis’ ‘Canticle of the Creatures’. He

tells us that in nature God has written a precious book

“whose letters are the multitude of created things present

in the universe” (Laudato Si, paragraph 85). He cites the

hymn of St. Francis showing us our interconnectedness.

In expressing our unity we have a responsibility to care

for the earth and the poor. The interdependence of

people and the planet is described in the phrase “integral

ecology”. Wordsworth would have been happy to see this


by Father John O'Brien, OFM Profiles in Catholicism



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