Thanksgiving 2016:

A Prayer Before Family Gatherings


November 23, 2016
Fr. Eric Andrews, president of the Paulist Fathers
Fr. Eric Andrews, C.S.P.
Dear friends,
We pray that you and your loved ones enjoy a very happy Thanksgiving!
We are very thankful for you and the support you continue to lend to our mission and ministries.
In the wake of the presidential election, we know this Thanksgiving may include difficult conversations at some dinner tables. With this in mind, we offer the prayer below. It may be helpful to pray before entering family gatherings.
May Thanksgiving be a day of peace and good fellowship for all.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Eric Andrews, C.S.P.

A Prayer Before Family Gatherings

Loving and merciful God,
may your Holy Spirit fill me today.

As I spend time and share a meal with my family members and friends,
may your Holy Spirit fill me with wisdom and right judgment.

May your thoughts be on my mind.
May your words be on my lips.
May your impulses be in my gut.
May your love and mercy be in my heart.
Loving and merciful God,
if it is your will that I speak today about things that may cause pain or difficulty, 
grant me courage,
and help me to speak from a place of love and and not of anger.
Loving and merciful God,
if it is your will that I do not speak today about things that may cause pain or difficulty,
grant me insight,
and help me to attain peace of mind and peace of heart.
Loving and merciful God,
grant me the ability to listen sincerely,
and help me to be compassionate and merciful.
Loving and merciful God,
I thank you for my family and my friends,
mindful that not all people today are surrounded by loved ones.
Hold close those who are lonely and those who go hungry.
Help me to know how to come to their aid.
Loving and merciful God,
protect our country and our world,
protect our children and all who are vulnerable,
and keep all people safe from harm and hate.
Grant us peace in our day.
We pray for all these things in the name of your son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This prayer was composed by the Paulist Fathers for Thanksgiving 2016.
The photo above is an “Autumn in New York” look at the north tower of our mother church, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, in New York City.  The image was captured by St. Paul’s parishioner and choir member Jeanne Bossé.