World Day of Prayer for an End to the Pandemic

May 14 is a Day of Prayer, Fasting and Acts of Charity for people of all faiths. Pope Francis is encouraging Catholics to join in this common effort.

A Prayer Amid an Epidemic  by Kerry Weber 

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages
    "curing every disease and illness."
At your command, the sick were made well.
Come to our aid now,
   in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus,
   that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with virus.
May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.
Heal us from our fear,
   which prevents nations from working together
   and neighbors from helping one another.
Heal us from our pride,
   which can make us claim invulnerability 

   to a disease that knows no borders.
Jesus Christ, healer of all,
   stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with those who have died from the virus.
May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.
Be with the families of those who are sick or have died.
As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair.
May they know your peace.
Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals
   who seek to heal and help those affected
   and who put themselves at risk in the process.
May they know your protection and peace.
Be with the leaders of all nations.
Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern
   for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve.
Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions
   that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks.
May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.
Whether we are home or abroad,
   surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few,
Jesus Christ, stay with us 

   as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare.
In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.
Jesus Christ, heal us.

What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
   the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
   on trying to make the world
      different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
   to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
   reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
   in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
   of compassion that move, invisibly,
   where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love-
   for better or for worse,
   in sickness and in health,
   so long as we all shall live.

--Lynn Ungar 3/11/20


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