Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Prayer for Latin America

Within the hour, the papal entourage touched down in São Paulo, where it was greeted by Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and, from the church, a flock of shepherds.

To commemorate the purpose of his first jaunt out of Europe as Pope -- i.e. the Fifth General Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean, which he'll open Sunday at Aparecida -- B16 composed the following prayer, presented below in the Whispers translation:

* * *

Lord Jesus Christ,
Way, Truth and Life,
human face of God,
and divine face of man,
revive in our hearts
a love for the Father who is in heaven
and the joy of being Christian.

You came to meet us
and guide our steps
to follow and love you
in the communion of your Church,
to celebrate and live
the gift of the Eucharist,
to carry our cross,
and be spurred on by your call.

Give us always the fire
of your Holy Spirit,
that he might illumine our minds
and reawaken in us
the desire to contemplate you,
love for our brothers,
above all for the afflicted,
and the zeal to proclaim you
at the start of this century.

As your disciples and missionaries,
may we row in open waters,
that our people might have in you
life in abundance,
and may build in solidarity
fraternity and peace.

Lord Jesus, come and invite us!

Mary, Mother of the Church,
pray for us.


PHOTO: Reuters/Sergio Morales