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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.