We invite all people—including prisoners, victims, families, law enforcement personnel, those in the justice system, and all those touched by the violence of crime—to join in the Prayer Campaign for Justice and Mercy. Simply say the prayer below each day, asking the God of Justice and Mercy to touch your heart and the hearts of all those touched by crime.
Prayer is the most powerful tool available in dealing with our current system of justice. We believe in the power of prayer to change hearts, change minds, change lives. We are to pray without ceasing and never lose hope!
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A Daily Prayer for Justice and Mercy
Jesus, united with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
give us your compassion for those in prison.
Mend in mercy the broken in mind and memory.
Soften the hard of heart, the captives of anger.
Free the innocent; parole the trustworthy.
Awaken the repentance that restores hope.
May prisoners’ families persevere in their love.
Jesus, heal the victims of crime. They live with the scars.
Lift to eternal peace those who die.
Grant victims’ families the forgiveness that heals.
Give wisdom to lawmakers and to those who judge.
Instill prudence and patience in those who guard.
Make those in prison ministry bearers of your light,
for all of us are in need of your mercy!
© Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association www.pncea.org
There are two readings for today.
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 83
May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace. Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth. This is a prayer for revenge, a plea that God would make their oppressors suffer the very misery they did to Israel.
This is a sincere and honest prayer, and God allows it to be included in His sacred writings.
This reminds me that God does not ignore our pain or our cries for justice.
God understands the little abused girl who cries out for God to punish her abuser, His heart breaks for her pain and He will act.
But how do we fit this prayer for revenge with the example of Jesus: Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
Or when Paul warns against seeking revenge ?
How I see this is as follows: the cry for justice is good and necessary, but it also makes redemption or restoration impossible.
If God ONLY imposed justice, and if we ONLY got what we deserved, then no one would survive.
We are not able by ourselves to overcome evil, and the cry for justice is real and legitimate – we should not stop seeking justice.
But more than justice, we all need mercy, including the abused little girl, and the abuser, and the one’s plotting against Israel, and the one’s plotting against Jesus.
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.
God welcomes the painful, tearful cry for justice, but He also sees that we need more than justice, we need mercy, we need forgiveness, we need help.
Thankfully Jesus look at all of us as He suffers for our crimes, and says “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
And the interesting thing about this, is that it is precisely this justice and mercy that lets people know that God really is God, and that He really is good.
It was the remarkable, merciful example of Jesus that led the Roman guard to recognize Him.
And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” This is the result of witnessing God’s justice and mercy on the cross, what the psalmist was praying for.
Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD— that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.
Lord, my heart breaks for the abused ones, and with pain I cry for justice… but also for mercy. Thank You that we all have a chance to come to our senses and to repent of our sin, and to receive Your mercy.
Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,
and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.
Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:
“If you knew the gift of God!”
You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:
let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
and restore sight to the blind.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy,
you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.
– Pope Francis
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Prayer for Mercy and Help
Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down,
That the mountains might quake at Your presence—
As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome things which we did not expect,
You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence.
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
Behold, You were angry, for we sinned,
We continued in them a long time;
And shall we be saved?
For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is no one who calls on Your name,
Who arouses himself to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us
And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.
But now, O Lord, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord,
Nor remember iniquity forever;
Behold, look now, all of us are Your people.
Your holy cities have become a wilderness,
Zion has become a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
Our holy and beautiful house,
Where our fathers praised You,
Has been burned by fire;
And all our precious things have become a ruin.
Will You restrain Yourself at these things, O Lord?
Will You keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?
– Isaiah 64
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A Prayer to be a Vessel of Mercy
Heavenly Father, thank You that by Your Holy Spirit You have bestowed on each of Your children different spiritual gifts, (or just one special gift..) that by Your grace is to be used for the encouragement and edification of the whole body of Christ. Thank You Lord for the way that You have gifted each of us in a very special and precious way, enabling us..by Your grace, to make a unique contribution, to the furtherance of Your plans and purposes in the body of Christ – that HE is all in all. Father, You have given me a special heart of love toward my brothers and sisters in Christ.. and although I am not gifted to teach, or to carry out some of the more overt gifts of the Spirit, I do wonder if You are developing in me the precious gift of encouragement, mercy and love towards my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Lord I pray that if You are taking me down this route, that You would use me as a sanctified vessel, that not only to pour out mercy and love without measure on other people, but that You would use me to encourage others to show the same mercy and forgiveness to their brothers and sisters in the body of Christ – and in the wider world beyond. Lord I know that in and of myself I have nothing that commends me for this special ministry of mercy and edification, for I know that without Christ I can do nothing – but praise God that in Christ I can do all things – for He gives me the strength. May I be pliable clay in the Potter’s hand and permit You to shape me into the person that You would have me be and use me in Your way and in Your time to Your praise and glory, in Jesus name I pray,
– Author Unknown
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Prayer of Thanks For God’s Mercy
Dear Father God, I praise and thank You for Your loving-kindness and great mercy which is new every morning and remains steadfast and sure throughout the day – to strengthen and hold. Thank You for the glory of the cross.. knowing that I was a estranged from Your heart of love and an outcast from the kingdom of heaven. Words cannot describe the wonderment that You sent Your only begotten Son to come to earth as a Man – and to live a life of rejection and sorrow, and to suffer and die for me on the cross of Calvary – so that I might be forgiven of all my sins and live with You eternally in heaven.
Thank You Father that although I was unworthy to approach You glorious throne, and enslaved in the kingdom of darkness, yet in Your mercy and grace You stooped down to me and lifted me out of the Satan’s bondage and from the cesspit of sin, and seated me together with Christ in heavenly places and showered me with Your undeserved grace and favor. Thank You that I am now one of Your redeemed children, in Jesus’ name I pray,
– Author Unknown
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Merciful Lord, it does not surprise me that you forget completely the sins of those who repent. I am not surprised that you remain faithful to those who hate and revile you. The mercy which pours forth from you fills the whole world. It was by your mercy that we were created, and by your mercy that you redeemed us by sending your Son. Your mercy is the light in which sinners find you and good people come back to you. Your mercy is everywhere, even in the depths of hell where you offer to forgive the tortured souls. Your justice is constantly tempered with mercy, so you refuse to punish us as we deserve. O mad Lover! It was not enough for you to take on our humanity; you had to die for us as well.
– Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
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A devotion that I personally feel an attraction towards is the mercy chaplet. I tend to use it often throughout the day to keep my mind focused, in an attitude of prayer. It keeps me aware, alert, and of course in the Eternals presence. It is said on rosary beads, for it is a round of ten short prayers, intertwined with one longer prayer between decades. I have simplified it, and only say the decade part, and ignore the beginning prayers. The reason I like this prayer is that it is said for God’s mercy to fall on everyone. So when praying the chaplet, one is united to Christ in his prayer for the salvation of mankind. It is also healing, for slowly, if this devotion is said with attention, it can lead to the healing of the heart, if there are those in our lives, either from the past or the present, which we find hard to forgive. Some of these areas of un-forgiveness are unconscious, so this prayer can slowly lead to healing, for to say the chaplet, there has to be the desire to forgive everyone, just as God has that desire. When we are in a state of un-forgiveness we in reality give power to those who have hurt us in the past, we just drag them along throughout our lives giving them a power that they are not even aware of. For past hurts can poison the present, so to forgive is to let go, to be free. To pray for mercy for all, will slowly allow this freedom to grow in ones heart, which will lead to a deepening of trust in others.
The human heart, my heart, often veers towards wanting justice done. Which more often than not, is just another word for revenge, served hot or cold it does not matter. Being naturally self centered, for that is the way we are made, a wrong done against me can be magnified, while the wrongs I do to another tend to be minimized. For I understand my situation, my rights, and why the wrong done to me should be punished. I can also see why I have done something to another, and find reason not to take it too seriously, for after all, I had good just reasons for whatever I did. It is very hard to be objective, easy to be overbearing and unjust towards others. I would say it is a natural state of things.
For when praying the chaplet, I am also among those in need of God’s mercy, not separate from, but in union with those that I pray for. I am not apart praying for “others”, but one with my brothers and sisters, as we all make our pilgrimage toward union with God. After a time one will begin to see that judgments can be made about actions, but the interior state, or worth of the person, is left up to the mercy of God, which is preferable to any kind of mercy I can squeeze out by myself. Which would be very little, believe me, you can trust me on that. I am constantly dealing with the harsher side of my personality, not only towards others, but also towards myself. We are called to greater interior freedom, mercy allows that freedom to grow, until mercy and compassion and yes even empathy is a natural state of things. Just think the soul will be able to breathe.
Br. Mark Dohle, OCSO
Holy Spirit Monstery
Tagged as: chaplet, Dohle, forgiveness, mercy, prayer, revenge