Praedicare is a blog about the many ways Dominicans preach with their lives, written by Adrian Dominican Sister Mary Jones, OP, who serves as the Congregation’s Promoter of Preaching. Please click the “Subscribe” button on the right column if you would like to receive it by email.
Homeless and Wandering
By Sister Christa Marsik, OP
O God, our loving God, where are you?
We have been driven from our homes,
driven from our lands.
And where shall we go?
Who will welcome us?
Who will love us?
Aleppo no longer wants us.
And she buses us to the other side of her city.
We suffer, waiting,
waiting while the powerful fight for our homes,
and while no one else wants us.
Mosul lies in rubble.
Can we claim her rocks and stones as ours?
The once beautiful ancient churches where
we prayed begging your loving care.
We suffer, waiting,
waiting as ISIS battles other believers
laying waste to our lives and our homeland.
How long, O God, how long?
yes, you do stand as a symbol,
a symbol of the lands that were once ours,
the lands out of which we were driven,
driven into boundary reserves so that the powerful
could claim these lands as their own.
We suffer, waiting,
waiting for those in charge to know their greed
and grant us our natural rights.
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras,
beautiful jewels of the South.
We no longer feel safe in you, our lands.
Our lives are in jeopardy, stolen from us by the greedy.
Our families are separated, kidnapped, killed.
Where can we go? Who will welcome us?
We suffer, waiting,
waiting while the wealthy take our lives, our money
and leave us poor without sustenance.
Oh God, where are you?
“No wonder the prophet weeps yet—
We begin again but not innocent…
And we feebly watch for you and wait.
Teach us how to weep while we wait,
and how to hope while we weep,
and how to care while we hope.”
~ From “Teach Us How To Weep” in Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann
By Sister Pat Benson, OP
Oh God, Creator of the Universe,
You who energized the flowing forth of all that we know,
Giver of the waters of life,
hear the silent cry of your water through this voice.
Thank you for the process of evolution that emerged water on Earth.
Thank you for the emergence of life in the waters and its crawling onto land.
Thank you for emerging human consciousness and creativity.
Thank you for millennia of mutually enhancing relationship
with the rest of creation, our sister and brother creatures.
Now, we, your people, use our intelligence creatively but often blindly.
We cause all bodies of water to cry out in anguish.
We deprive people and animals of clean life-giving water.
Because of our disconnected lifestyle we are complicit in this agony.
Aquifers, underground seas of pure water,
once deep and full, now suffering from human plunder,
Their empty voices cry out due to our technological expertise.
Rivers and the tumbling streams that feed them,
flowing clean and sparkling clear for eons,
carving incredibly deep gorges or meandering in meadows,
bring hydration to all creatures living near.
Rivers now drained for human use along the way,
raise their dry voice before they reach the sea.
Lakes, expanses of water shimmering in the sun,
Frozen in the cold, sooth the spirit in a gaze.
Watching civilization grow cities on their shores,
and providing millions with water,
lakes now raise their crusty voices
polluted with chemicals, drugs, and waste debris.
Lakes, our agricultural endeavors drinking their water for growth,
pay the price of our unthinking practices
as excess fertilizer and pathogens flow back.
Their bountiful capacity overdrawn for our wants,
lakes speak with cracked voices from their dry beds,
a fraction of their former selves.
Glaciers, shimmering sheer cliffs of blue-white ice, frozen for centuries,
(with ice caps, 98% of Earth’s fresh water)
now victims of anthropogenic global warming, calve or melt.
Their voices roar as they crack and fall, or slip silently into oblivion.
Seas, salty water encircling the globe,
house abundant ecosystems of life.
Seas suffer as human beings deplete them of their bounty,
Employ practices that harm their inhabitants,
And pollute their waters with waste.
Their rolling cry brushes all shores.
Creator God, help us!
Help your human children emerge into new awareness
of our responsibility for our “home”.
Foster in us the “reverence for all” that Jesus modeled.
Help us to raise our voices to protect our waters,
and all who depend on them, especially those who are poor,
for their own sake and for future generations.
You are the Source of all that is.
Your creative Spirit is ever-present with us, desiring to lead and guide us.
Help us open our hearts and minds to your invitations
always trusting that You will show us the way.
By Sister Susie Kresse, OP
O my soul, I cry unto God,
Absent from my being.
Grieve for the violence
And suffering of the world
Affecting so many marginalized
And hurting people.
O absent God,
Show your mercy and compassion.
Provide shelter for the homeless,
Food for the hungry,
Health for the sick,
Peace for the dying.
Show us ways to provide for those in need.
Help our government:
Congress and Supreme Court.
Help President Trump be open to your grace;
Give him humility and appreciation for the gifts of others.
Preserve us from fear and anxiety….
Let us see your face.
By Sister Marilyn Barnett, OP
Polar caps that vanish and melt,
Great oceans rise and creep.
African cracked and barren lands,
Our golf links green and neat.
Global warming cynics dismiss,
Reality’s urgent prayer
Religious leaders weep and mourn
their unoccupied churches bare.
Racial skirmishes erupt and grow
Reasonable dialogue lost.
Schisms deepen, lies, deceit
hope wanes at great cost.
Darken prison bars conceal
the young and old who wait
Judicial systems clogged with tape,
appeals that decide their fate.
Why oh God are you in hiding?
Why can’t we see your face?
When will your justice rule and guide
over our human race.
You are our hope in times of trouble
You, the savior of all.
Give us the strength to trust in you
When all else seems to fall.
Mary Jones, OP
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