In section: Prayers and Reflections

PRAYER FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – March 8, 2017

(Adaptation of a prayer prepared by the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of the International Union of Superiors General)

As we come together to celebrate the International Women’s Day, we join our sisters and brothers throughout the world remembering that “the care we have for one another leads us to engage with the pain and suffering of all people and creation” (USG/UISG).

 

THE WOMAN NEXT TO YOU (1)

Look around Sisters, look around you!

WHO IS THE WOMAN sitting next to you?

 

The woman next to you is an inexhaustible reservoir of possibility...

With possibilities that have never been completely realised...

Full of necessity and possibility...dread and desire...smiles and frowns...

laughter and tears...fears and hopes...

all struggling to find expression.

 

The woman next to you is striving to BECOME something in particular,

to arrive at some destination...to have a story... a song...                                                              

to be known and to know...

 

The woman next to you believes in something...

something precious...

stands for something...counts for something...

lives for something...

runs towards something.

 

The woman next to you...has problems and fears, wonders how she is doing...

and often doesn't feel very good about it...

is often disorganized and sometimes close to chaos...

but endowed with great toughness in the face of adversity...

and able to survive great difficulties.

 

The woman next to you is a colony of persons...

persons all met during her lifetime...

father and mother, friend and enemy.

 

The woman next to you has something she can do well...

something she can do better than anyone else in the whole world...

there is something that she and she  alone can do...but she may not dare speak of it to you.

The woman next to you can live with you, not just alongside you...

she can live, not just for herself, but for you, also...

she can comfort, encounter, understand you if that is what you want...

and in turn she wants to be understood, too.

 

The woman next to you...can never be fully understood...

she is more than any description or explanation...

she can never be fully controlled nor should she be.

 

The woman next to you is a MYSTERY...

and the WORD MADE FLESH is MYSTERY.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us... and so my Sisters and Brothers,

look around you... for CHRIST IS HERE, HE DIED and IS  RISEN,  ALLELUIA!

 

[1] Please note in the above poem that use of the term “woman” can also signify any person.

 

Reflection and Sharing:

  • Who is the woman whom Jesus looks at in the synagogue, and how does He relate to her?
  • What things today bend or hold back the life of people, particularly of women?
  • Which are some of my personal experiences of having been "straightened" by the Lord or having witnessed the liberation experienced by others?
  • Can we see in this action of Jesus a graced opportunity to reach out with compassion?

 

Prayer for all women in difficulty

May God bless you and be with you in your time of deep sorrow and pain.

Through our tears, may you know that God weeps with you.

By our touch, may you know that God’s arms are holding you.

In our endeavour to assist you, may you know that God is helping you to cope from day to day.

Through our prayers, may you know that God hears your plea.

And in the desolation you suffer, may you know that we bring God’s love to you to filter into those empty spaces his compassion and understanding.   

(Taken from: Marjorie Dobson in: A World of Blessing, Compiled by Geoffrey Duncan, Canterbury Press, 2000)

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