Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cardinal Suenens' Prayer



One of the great Churchmen of the twentieth century was Cardinal Leon Joseph Suenens (1904–1996), for many years Archbishop of Brussels-Malines. Well-known for his leading role at the Second Vatican Council, Suenens later became a world leader of the charismatic renewal, interpreting it to the Church, and at times interpreting the Church to the renewal. He was a close friend of both Pope Paul VI and Michael Ramsey, the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury. Suenens was above all a man of great faith in the Lord, and profound trust in the working of the Holy Spirit. 

This prayer is from his book, A New Pentecost? New York, Seabury Press, 1975. 

Give us, O Lord,
eyes for seeing,
a heart for loving,
breath for living.

Give us eyes for seeing,

give us, we beg, your eyes,
to see through them
the world and all mankind,
to see their history and our own
as you see them.
Grant us to think your thoughts
day by day,
hour by hour.
Help us gradually to become
that for which you created us;
let us adopt your view of things,
your way of seeing things.

Make us responsive to your Word
which can enlighten and transform
the life of each of us.

Give us a heart for loving,

a heart of flesh and not of stone
for loving God and Man.
Give us, we pray, your heart,
that we forget ourselves
in perfect love.
We need to exchange our heart for yours,
our heart so slow
to love all others but ourselves.
Let it be you, O Lord,
who loves through us.
Give us a heart to love Our Father,
to love Mary our Mother
and to love your brothers
who are also ours;
to love even in this world
those who have gone before us in the next -
to love also those
who walk beside us
here on earth
and who sometimes
are more difficult to love.

Give us the breath of life

that our lungs be constantly filled
with life-saving breath and air
to help us walk towards tomorrow
without a backward look or thought or effort;
to prepare for
all that men, and therefore you,
expect from us;
to draw fresh hope
as if, this morning, life began;
to struggle against winds and tides,
sustained
by your presence and your promise,
carrying as we do in us,
men's hopes and all their fears.
Give us breath to live, your breath
that you send from God the Father;
your Spirit, the Breath
that blows where it will;
in gusts or sudden winds
or that light touch
with which you call us to follow.
Breathe on us,
inspire in us,
that prayer which rises from you within us,
calling for you to come in glory,
reaching out to the fullness of God.

 Lord, I need your eyes,
give me a living faith.
I need your heart,
a love to withstand any test.
I need the breath of God,
give your hope
to me and all your Church
that the Church today
bear witness to the world,
that the world may know
all Christians,
by their look of joy and serenity,
a warm and generous heart
and the unfailing optimism
that rises
from that secret,
everlasting spring
of joyful hope.


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