A Millennial Prayer

I. For our Holy Father Pope John Paul, the bishops, priests, deacons, religious, and all of the people of God.

May the Holy Father be blessed with strength and vision as he leads us in righteousness and justice through these times to come. Open our ears to hear his call to welcome the Jubilee Holy Year 2000 as a time of renewal, justice, evangelization, and catechesis. As we journey through the next year, help us to correctly read the signs of the times and respond without panic or fear, in accordance with God's will and the teachings of the Church, so that we become co-creators with God of a civilization of life and love.

We pray to the Lord.

II. For all who hold political office throughout the world, that they will fulfill the duties of their office to protect and uphold the common good.

During the millennial year to come, turn them away from wickedness, oppression, war, crime, and injustice. Teach them to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly; fill them with righteousness and prudence. Open their hearts to trust those whom they govern, so that their decisions are true and transparent, respectful of human life and the lawful rights of the people.

We pray to the Lord.

III. For all people who are at risk of tragedy and disaster in the times to come, especially the poor.

Give us faith in the social justice teachings of the Church so that we respond to these challenging times with evangelism and catechesis that is founded in solidarity, participation, the works of justice and peace, and the preferential option for the poor. May we demonstrate our concern for all who are at risk and in danger by practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

Build within us the virtue of prudence, so that we prepare ourselves for the demands of the times to come. When the Jesus who is hungry, thirsty, and homeless knocks at our door, teach us to be able and willing to help Him. May all who are suffering and in danger find in the Church a sure and certain refuge from trouble, despair, and disaster.

Forgive us our sins and destroy the structures of sin which oppress the poor. Teach us to create new structures of Goodness, Beauty, and Wisdom.

We pray to the Lord.

IV. For the people of God who gather together to celebrate the Eucharist and live in community together. Open our hearts, our minds, our eyes and our ears so that we turn away from selfishness and embrace love and holiness. Take away from us our disordered love for material goods and wealth so that we may live in simplicity and justice and be proper stewards of God's creation. Redeem us from our idolatry of technology, power, and the marketplace. Grant us the virtues of faith, hope, love, fortitude, temperance, and justice, so that we will be bold witnesses of our Faith and the Hope which is within us.

Send to us men and women of faith and holiness, who like Vincent de Paul and Louise Marillac, Peter Claver and Ignatius of Loyola, Maximilien Kolbe and Mary McKillop, Catherine of Sienna and Francis of Assissi, Teresa of Avila and Benedicta de la Cruz, Katherine Drexel and Frederick Ozanam, Pierre Toussaint and Kateri Tekawitha, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Joseph, Martha, John the Baptist, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, Daniel, Deborah, Esther, and all the Holy Helpers of the Poor, will understand and correctly read the signs of these times and know what the people of God should do.

We pray to the Lord.

V. For all who do not walk in communion with God, who are alienated from themselves and the community, who reject the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

May they come to a true and living relationship with God, so that through the wounds of the Risen Lord they will find healing, wholeness, hope, and help during times of trouble. Send to them witnesses, friends, healers, reconcilers, prophets, and companions to help them in their journeys.

We pray to the Lord.

VI. For all who work in the repair and remediation of y2k-related problems with human technology.

Grant that they will work hard and smart and be thorough and responsible in the tasks before them. Protect us from catastrophes and disasters caused by error, technological failure, hubris, corruption, wickedness. Cast down Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. May the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We pray to the Lord.

VII. For all who have gone before us marked with the sign of Faith.

Bring to us a spirit of remembrance of the communion of all saints, may our prayers be united with theirs for peace, justice, mercy, the salvation of souls, and the protection of the Church and our families. During times of challenge and stress, may our response be worthy of the heritage of faith, justice, liberty, responsibility, honor, and duty that they have bequeathed to us.

We pray to the Lord.

VIII. With gratitude and humility, we call upon Mary, Mother and first Protector of our Lord, who at Tepeyac, Lourdes, Fatima and many other times and places has called us to have faith in her Son and to live in peace and holiness, doing works of reparation for the evils of this world, and we say: Holy Mary, Mother of God, help the helpless, strengthen the fearful, comfort the sorrowful, bring justice to the poor and peace to all nations. Amen.

Robert Waldrop

On the memorials of St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. Robert Bellarmine, AD 1999,


Archbishop Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City

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