Monasteries of the Heart

Joan Chittister OSB

I Believe in God: A Reflection on the Apostles' Creed

I believe in God
who made us all
and whose divinity
infuses all of life
with the sacred.

I believe
in the multiple revelations
of that God
alive in every human heart,
expressed in every culture,
and found in all the wisdoms
of the world.

I believe that Jesus Christ,
the unique son of God,
is the face of God
on earth
in whom we see best
the divine justice,
divine mercy,
and divine compassion
to which we are all called.

Prayer for Leadership

Give us, O God,
leaders whose hears are large enough
to match the breadth of our own souls
and give us souls strong enough
to follow leaders of vision and wisdom.

In seeking a leader, let us seek
more than development for ourselves—
though development we hope for—
more than security for our own land—
though security we need—
more than satisfaction for our want—
though many things we desire.

Prayer for World Peace

Great God, who has told us
“Vengeance is mine,”
save us from ourselves,
save us from the vengeance in our hearts
and the acid in our souls.

Save us from our desire to hurt as we have been hurt,
to punish as we have been punished,
to terrorize as we have been terrorized.

Give us the strength it takes
to listen rather than to judge,
to trust rather than to fear,
to try again and again
to make peace even when peace eludes us.

Prayer for a Questioning Heart

May your journey
through the questions of life
bring you to a new moment of awareness.
May it be
and enlightening one.
May you find
embedded in the wisdom
of the past,
like all the students
of life before you,
the answers
you yourself
are seeking
now.
May they waken
that in you which is
deeper than fact,
truer than fiction,
full of faith.
May you come to know
that in every
human event
is a particle of the Divine
to which we turn

A Litany of Women for the Church

Dear God, creator of women in your own image,
born of a woman in the midst of a world half women,
carried by women to mission fields around the globe,
made known by women to all the children of the earth,
give to the women of our time
the strength to persevere,
the courage to speak out,
the faith to believe in you beyond
all systems and institutions
so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty,
so that men and women become whole,
so that the church may be converted to your will

Prayer for Conscience and Courage in Times of Public Struggle

Loving God,
lead us beyond ourselves
to care and protect,
to nourish and shape,
to challenge and energize
both the life and the world
You have given us.

God of light and God of darkness,
God of conscience and God of courage
lead us through this time
of spiritual confusion and public uncertainty.

Lead us beyond fear, apathy and defensiveness
to new hope in You and to hearts full of faith.

Prayer in Honor of Those Whom Jesus Loved

Jesus who loved the Samaritan woman,
outcast proclaimer of your name,
let us love and support all those
who proclaim your name
to the gay and lesbian community.

Jesus who loved the lepers whom others called unclean,
let us see the glory of creation
everywhere, in everyone.

Jesus who loved the one condemned with him
and promised him heaven by virtue of his faith,
give us the faith to broaden our vision
of the reign of God.

Prayer of those who dwell in a Monastery of the Heart

Loving God,
You who dwell in our hearts,
make for us a cave there
in which to hear your voice
more distinctly,

feel your care
more tenderly,

understand your will
more clearly,

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