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I quoted part of the following prayer yesterday from a college-age friend’s FB page, who heard it at an address to new students by a Rice University professor.

Google it and you’ll find it on lots sites and almost all of them quote it verbatim, which means that no one thought they needed to improve on it.  Also interesting is that nearly all the sites that I viewed were by Christian peace and justice activists, missionaries, or inspirational bloggers.  Almost all cite it as a Franciscan benediction.

The prayer seems appropriate to the Jewish high holiday season that is nearly upon us, the Days of Awe, as we take stock of ourselves, pray for atonement, and begin a new year, looking forward rather than back at our false starts and failures.

Here’s the whole prayer:

May God bless you with discomfort with easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships, so you will live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people so you will work for justice, equality and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

But of course there’s nothing new under the sun, so if you want a briefer version of the same sentiment, check out this line from Psalm 51:   “O God, create for me a pure heart, and renew within me a just spirit.”

And to both of those, I say Amen.