Monasteries of the Heart

Prayer for Charity and a Preferential Option for the Poor

Poor Ones,
Please take the bread.
It is yours.
The house with running water
belongs to you.
A plot of land, a dignified job—
all yours.
Forgive me for offering it.
Charity is no substitute for justice
but your children are hungry now.

Spirit of Justice,
break open our hearts.
Break them wide open.
Let anger pour through
like strong winds,
cleansing us of complacency.
Let courage pour through
like spring storms,
flooding out fear.
Let zeal pour through
like blazing summer sun,
filling us with passion.
Force of Justice, grant me
anger at what is,
courage to do what must be done,
passion to break down the walls
of injustice
and build a land flowing
with milk and honey
for God’s beloved,
God’s special love,
God’s Poor Ones.

Spirit of Justice
break open our hearts.

— Mary Lou Kownacki