To give you a future with hope
I am Béatrice Battaglia from the Swiss committee of the worldwide ecumenical women’s movement World Day of Prayer. I’d like to continue with another reflection rooted in the liturgy for the World Day of Prayer 2022, written by women from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The liturgy for the celebration of World Day of Prayer 2022 begins with the lightening of a candle. Thus, we commemorate that first of all God has created light and that God has promised light to all people walking in darkness. This act of faith is deepened by a common prayer:
God, our Mother and our Father,we light a candle of hope
to celebrate with all your people
as we watch and wait for your plans and promises to be fulfilled.
How does this prayer resound in you?
How do you usually address God in your prayers?
How do you feel when praying to God as your mother?
God as your father? As your mother and your father?
Do you long for God as your parent? Or rather as your friend?
Your saviour? The Ruler of the universe?
When or how is God a source of hope for you?
Does praying strengthen your hope and vitalize your faith practice?
Juliana of Norwich: «As verily as God is our Father, so verily God is our Mother
For me this prayer is a source of hope and it reminds me immediately of Juliana of Norwich and her book «Revelation of Divine Love», written more than 600 years ago. Even when severely ill and in the plague epidemics Juliana trusts, that God, in her motherly love for us, is close to us in joy and in sorrow and will turn everything around for our good. No one will be lost forever. Because God loves us as a mother loves her children, Juliana has a positive view of humanity despite all the darkness in and around us and she trusts us to be able to be light in the world for each other, because God is dwelling in us. «The place that Jesus takes in our soul, He shall never remove from, without end: – for in us is His homeliest home and His endless dwelling.» May we often feel that God loves to dwell in us and to let Her light shine through us into our world.
I am very grateful that when in the liturgy of the World Day of Prayer 2022 the seventh candle is lit, the prayer changes to:
«God, our Mother and our Father, we light a candle of hope and participate with all your people in responsive prayerful action to bring to life the plans and promises you have for us.»
God is not a magician ready to solve all our problems. She trusts us to be her daughters in loving.