As I begin preparation for several Advent programs I will be giving in various places in December, I pulled out a folder from my file cabinet labeled “Advent Resources.” Among the items in the folder was the Advent 2010 letter written by the Vincentian Superior General, Fr. Greg Gay.
Gay’s letter included a prayer that had been created for the celebration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. It was titled The Beatitudes of Social Engagement.
As we continue through a sad (and maddening) election season, and as the world around us continues to groan in suffering, I thought it was worth sharing this prayer.
Happy are you, when you remain available, sharing in simplicity what you possess.
Happy are you, when you weep over the absence of happiness around you, and throughout the world.
Happy are you, when you opt for gentleness and dialogue even when this seems long and difficult.
Happy are you, when you creatively devise new ways of donating your time, your tenderness and gems of hope.
Happy are you, when you listen with your heart to detect what is gift in others.
Happy are you, when you strive to take the first step, the necessary one to attain peace with brothers and sisters throughout the world.
Happy are you, when you keep in your heart wonderment, openness and free questioning of life.
Happy are you, when you take seriously your faith in the Risen Christ.
May we strive to live in the spirit of these beatitudes.