Plotinus in the Jungle

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For the Grace to Be Merciful

The first time I lived abroad was a semester in Uganda in 2007, and I would pray this prayer almost every night. I just put it up as a poster in our house and it struck me that while it still applies to the cross-cultural interactions I encounter — the mentally ill woman talking to me at the bank about how her family is hiding 9 billion kina from her, for example — it applies to my relationships with my family members especially.

I thought about changing the word “neighbors” in the original prayer by St. Faustina to “children” to make the point (to myself, anyway) but I decided to leave it as is, in its more universal form. That way it also applies to my children showing me mercy!

For the Grace to Be Merciful to Others

Pulling up!

Pulling up!

Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.

Tabitha kneading bread

Tabitha kneading bread

Annie with her drawings of (r-l) a clown, ice cream, and the president of New Zealand's house

Annie with her drawings of (r-l) a clown, ice cream, and the president of New Zealand’s house

Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.

Tobiah on the move

Tobiah on the move

finding all the chewable things

finding all the chewable things

a big dust bunny

what a big dust bunny

Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.

sisterly teamwork

sisterly teamwork

my tiny army of sous-chefs

my tiny army of sous-chefs

Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbor and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.

Sounding out "cup on pup"

Sounding out “cup on pup”

a multisensory experience

literature is delicious

Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.

Hanging up the laundry

Hanging up the laundry

Tabitha is picking out her own outfits and putting them on

Tabitha is now picking out her own outfits and putting them on

Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence.

Cruiser with four tooth-ers

Cruiser with four tooth-ers

May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.

Amen.

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3 Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    That’s really beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I identify with pretty much needing to pray all those prayers because of failure at pretty much all those things… especially the bit about suffering in silence! :p

    Like

    • aldorisrapp@gmail.com says:

      Dear CC love your comments and the beautiful pictures, Wish I could hang my clothes out on the line, the only place I can do that is put some things on my screened porch when needed. Soon your little one will be walking than Tabby can catch up w/him. Keep me posted love all your pictures and notes. Love all of you, Grammy

      Like

  2. aldorisrapp@gmail.com says:

    Just went into your e-mail and found the same pictures but love them. When you get more up to date post them to me. Have a wonderful spring time, is it that time of the yr. for you. I’m hot looking forward to cold winter coming in a few months. Keep me posted, love all of you. Grammy

    Like

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