Servite Sister Joyce Rupp wrote this prayer after visiting the developing countries of Guatemala and Liberia. While I was deciding which oat bran cereal to eat this morning, you were searching the ground for leftover grains from a passing wheat truck. While I was jogging at the health club, you were working in a landowner’s field under the scorching sun. While I was choosing between diet or regular soda, your parched lips were yearning for the touch of water. While I complained about poor service at a gourmet restaurant, you were gratefully receiving a bowl of rice. While I watched the evening news on my plasma screen TV, you were being terrorized by a dictatorship government. While I read the newspaper and drank my cup of coffee, you walked the dusty, hot miles to the tiny crowded school room to try to learn how to read. While I scanned the ads for a bargain on an extra piece of clothing, you woke up and put on the same shirt and pants that you have worn for months. While I built a 14 room house for the three of us, your family of 10 found shelter in a one room hut. While I went to church last Sunday and felt more than slightly bored, you looked out upon the earth and those around you and felt gratitude to God for being alive one more day.
My brothers and sisters, please forgive me for my arrogance and indifference. Forgive me for my greed of always wanting newer, bigger and better things. Forgive me for not doing my part to change the unjust systems that keep you suffering and impoverished. I offer you my promise to become more aware of your situation and change my lifestyle as I work for transformation of our world. Joyce Rupp