A Protector for Those Without One

I just came from the Prayer for Healing in Our Community and Our Nation we just held in the Chapel of St. Thomas More on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.

After the Call to Prayer by our University President (who later offered some remarks about the Catholic Social Thought principles of human dignity and solidarity), we listened to a taped portion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech.

My contribution to the service was to read an excerpt from Santideva’s Bodhicaryavatara (A Guide to a Bodhisattva’s Way of Life).  It expresses, more poetically than I could, an aspiration to work on behalf of those who are in need.

May I be a doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed.

May I become an inexhaustible treasure
For those who are poor and destitute;
May I turn into all things they could need
And may these be placed close beside them.

May I be a protector for those without one.
A guide for travellers on the way;
May I be a bridge, a boat and a ship
For all who wish to cross the water.

May I be an island for those who seek one
And a lamp for those desiring light,
May I be a bed for all who wish to rest
And a slave for all who want a slave.

May I be a wishing jewel, a magic vase,
Powerful mantras and great medicine,
May I become a wish-fulfilling tree
And a cow of plenty for the world.

Just like space
And the great elements such as earth,
May I always support the life
Of all the boundless creatures.

And until they pass away from pain
May I also be the source of life
For all the realms of varied beings
That reach unto the ends of space.



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