help me to live for them

shanty town on top of buildings in Buenos Aires © Jorge Royan /, via Wikimedia Commons

 Lord, forgive me for becoming accustomed
   to looking at children who appear to be eight-year-olds
   when they are already thirteen;
forgive me for becoming accustomed to sloshing
   through mud puddles which I can leave behind –
   they cannot;
forgive me for learning to shut out the smell
   of open sewers which I can leave behind –
   they cannot;
forgive me for turning out the lights automatically,
   forgetting those who have no lights to turn on;
forgive me for telling them that
   ‘Man cannot live by bread alone’
   without joining them in their struggle for bread.

Lord, I want to love them for who they are – help me;
I dream of dying for them – help me to live for them;
I want to be with them when the light breaks through –
   help me.

Member of the Third World Priest Movement, assassinated in Argentina, 1974


Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

One thought on “help me to live for them

  1. A wonderful Prayer sensitizing us to the needs of the poor. I’ve walked through these places and ministered there but it’s amazing how fast we forget.


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