Gibran’s The Prophet,* offers that children’s “souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.” This rings true, especially with the pace and magnitude of change in our world today. Children, especially, need to be able to believe, to trust in the future. They depend on parents and society to build the foundation for it. How important the foundation!
In the Romero Prayer, the author speaks to me of our niche in transforming the future for those we love, for next generations. On the chance that you’ve not yet experienced this reflection, I’m passing it on.
ARCHBISHOP OSCAR ROMERO PRAYER
(Actually composed by Bishop Ken Untener,
but has become attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero)
It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise
that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that
the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing
that.This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between
the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders, ministers, messiahs.
May the children of our world have reason for gratitude and continue
to build a better future for all!
*The Prophet, by Kalil Gibran, originally published by Alfred A. Knopf Publisher, NY, 1923
Sr. Sharon Portwood, OSB