A Beatitude With Some Teeth:
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
James Barnett shared this and called it a Franciscan prayer. I really liked the prayer, but I’ve been wrestling with whether and how I should post it. The problem is that I don’t want to post something that will cause people unneccessary guilt and shame. Some folks will read something beautiful like this and immediately think “I’m too comfortable and apathetic; my life’s too safe; I’m so bad!” Don’t do that. God already likes you and he’s not going to get mad at you because you aren’t doing enough. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
The purpose of this prayer is to encourage those whose faith and walk are shallow to go deeper. Those who give and strive ultimately find more joy than those who take and consume. Those who seek get greater blessings than those who settle. This prayer is thus an invitation to a life of greater satisfaction through meaningful work and closeness to God. If you are already neck-deep in the struggle, your prayer will sound different.
God did not do his good deeds from a feeling of guilt or shame, but from an overflow of holy love. As his imitators, I pray that we will grow to be the same way. Whenever we pray, read Scripture, help and comfort others, or work for redemptive change in the world, let us not do it not because we feel obligated. Let us do it instead out of an overflow of holy love.