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A book is a literary compass that has the potential to direct our thoughts and actions:

"Everything we read stimulates our mind to think, and what we think determines what we desire, and desires are the seedbed of our actions. Given this iron law of human nature--from reading to thinking, to desiring, to acting--we are shaping our destiny by the ideas we choose to have enter our minds through print." - Fr. John Hardon, S.J., The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

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"Every soul that uplifts itself uplifts the world." --Elisabeth Leseur

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

One in Our Desire for Faith: The World Prayer Project

Sometimes I forget the beauty of other faith traditions. Sometimes I get so narrow in the books I read, the places I visit, the web sites I search for, that I miss out on the presence of God in the wider world.

The World Prayers Project is a collection of adorations, invocations and celebrations from different faiths and faith traditions. It displays humanity's unceasing desire to respond to God's call. As Augustine said, our hearts are restless until they rest in God. The World Prayers Project shows how universal that restlessness is.

Obviously, many of the prayers at the Project contradict what I believe about God and spirituality. Some sources are even what I would consider outrageous or ridiculous. Nevertheless, there is something beautiful in the endeavor to know and communicate to God, regardless of what a person means by the term God.

The World Prayers Project is a testament to the power of God to elicit responses from his people. The varied nature of our responses as documented in the Project is a testament to our need for revelation and discernment, but is also a reflection of the diversity that God so generously distributes.

We may not all be one in faith yet, but we are one in our desire for faith.

Take a trip to The World Prayers Project and spin the wheel to get a random prayer. Today I came across the Hail Mary, Psalm 51 and Ecclesiates 3:1-8.

But I also came across the following:

How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!
The heavens declare Your glory,
the arch of the sky displays Your handiwork
In Your love You have given us the power
to behold the beauty of Your world
robed in all its splendor.
The sun and the stars, the valleys and the hills,
the rivers and the lakes all disclose Your presence.
The roaring breakers of the sea tell of Your awesome might,
the beast of the field and the birds of the air
bespeak Your wondrous will.
In Your goodness You have made us able to hear
the music of the world.
The voices of the loved ones
reveal to us that You are in our midst.
A divine voice sings through all creation.

--traditional jewish prayer

It is not so important to love all men today
as it is that each day
you learn to love one more human being.

--urantia book

Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance
everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly
that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through us and be so in us
that every soul we come in contact with
may feel your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus.
Stay with us and then we shall begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you.
None of it will be ours.
It will be you shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise you in the way you love best
by shining on those around us.
Let us preach you without preaching,
not by words, but by our example;
by the catching force -
the sympathetic influence of what we do,
the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.

-- prayer of Mother Teresa

Oh great and powerful ocean,
I fear and respect your beauty.
I wish not to take way
nor leave anything behind.
I only wish to dance
with you for a short while.

-- a surfer's prayer


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posted by Nick Senger at 6:09 AM

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