God of limitless love,
Thank you for creating us with expansive capacity for love.
The heart is a vast landscape. What wonder this is that we can feel so many different emotions, seemingly conflicting, at the same time, that we can love so deeply. Sometimes in the face of all the suffering we see, we confuse love with needing to hold everything we feel tightly, to hold more than we are meant to hold. The landscape then can become cluttered and overwhelmed. We live in a buzzing world in which we are aware of more than we are able to hold. What if real love for self and neighbor is in both witness and release? Like a butterfly landing on our hands, we become immersed in attention to the translucent wings, loving it fully and then, when it lifts off again to the wind, we watch it fly away in trust it will find somewhere else to land, released with hope for its thriving.
God, you can hold all we cannot, all that we need not be crushed under constantly. We thank you for this incredible gift you offer us—to land upon Your gentle Hands.
So we pray these butterfly prayers…
We hold and then release into Love the nearly 13,000 Haitian immigrants on the US/Mexico border and the 19,000 in Columbia crossing into Panama, who in their desperation have left their homes, traveling a dangerous journey asking for asylum and hope. May the United States meet those who come to the border with justice, kindness and shared humanity. May there be repentance, accountability, and change for the inhuman ways these fellow brothers and sisters have been treated.
We hold and then release into Love the people of Germany, for peace during a razor close election and transition of power after 16 years.
We hold and then release into Love those affected by the 5.9 earthquake on the Island of Crete in Greece.
We hold and then release into Love those injured in an apartment building blast in Gothenburg, Sweden.
We hold and then release into Love the people of La Palma in the Canary Islands of Spain as they live under the threat of toxic fumes after lava from a volcanic eruption last week mixed with seawater.
We hold and then release into Love and gratitude the thirty trapped Canadian mine workers who climbed 4,000 to the surface after two days underground after an accident damaged the mine lift. We give thanks for their health and safety.
We hold and release into Love the five Palestinians killed during raids by Israeli forces in the West Bank. May these two countries who have suffered for so long find comfort for grief and peace between them.
We hold and then release into Love the people of Afghanistan. For women who have been banned from studying and working in universities. For the women who have protested day after day this month for equal rights and freedom under the new Taliban rule. For men who have been banned from cutting their beards and hair. We pray for peace and wisdom as the United States military generals meet with Congress to examine the United States‘ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
We hold and release into Love and gratitude places where there is expanding freedom as Switzerland has voted to allow same sex marriage.
We hold and release into Love farmers of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha or the United Farmers Front in India who have been protesting for one year against government backed laws that they fear will shatter their livelihoods.
We hold and release into Love every nation and person in the world as we all continue to live within the pandemic. For those sick and dying alone. For those caring for the sick. For those who are grieving. For those embroiled in the political divides. For those afraid. For those who are lonely and depressed and hopeless. May we feel and embody courage, creativity, compassion, connection, and care.
A group of butterflies is called a “Kaleidoscope.” These prayers are slivers of color. We join them in a tapestry, a stained-glass window of beauty, complexity, sorrow, joy, and hope. We turn these shards of prayers toward the Light, for them to be shone through with Love. We entrust Your holding of them, Loving God, in the Oneness of Divine Mercy.