Friday, November 03, 2017

Ten Petitions: A Prayer

1. Dear Lady of the Universe,
You hold all things in your hands,
All peoples, times and places;
Help me recognise you 
In all your many names and many faces.

2. Help me to know that this is what you want for us:
To meet you in each other,
Here and now, and in the future,
With wisdom, courage and love.

3. And help me find each day
Just what it is that will sustain me;
And enlarge my spirit
And the spirits of those around me.

4. Please understand and contain my limitations,
Just as you help me to understand 
And contain the limitations of others.

5. Help me to listen to and accept all the parts of myself,
However wounded, lost or scared,
Seeking to heal my own and others’ injuries,
Transcending my limitations and theirs.

6. In the end, help me to know 
And truly love myself and those I meet,
Knowing us all to be little bits of consciousness 
Floating on the sea of time.

7. Because I am such a little bit of consciousness,
It’s all too easy for me to feel 
That I’ve come from from nothing 
And will soon disappear;
Therefore help me to accept 
That I can’t really know 
Where I came from or where I go.

8. Also, therefore, help me always know
Each moment, day and year as a gift to me,
And to appreciate how everything I have and am
Comes from you and those who came before me.

9. And help me also see how everything I have and am
I am already passing on to those around me
And those who will come after me.

10. Finally, help me know all this as so,
Each day, and ever here thereafter.
Notes: This poem is a very loose and highly personal paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer, drawing on previous pieces I've written.  I wrote it in the middle of two sleepless nights in Singapore while I was suffering from the cumulative effects of 15 hours of jet lag over 10 days. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of any particular religious denomination or system of theology. The stanza numbers enumerating the petitions are not to be read aloud but are meant to echo verse numbers in spiritual texts.