When I Behold the Problems of Our World

When I behold the problems of our world,
O Lord,
I pray not to be tempted to quick answers.

When every tongue declares a different Truth,
when every people praises its own righteousness,
let me pause before I speak or praise or hope.

Let me look inward
seeking to discover eternal truths
implanted there by Thee,
truths greater than those heard
in the outer multitude of voices and words.

And let me remember always that to be loud is not to be right,
to be strange is not to be forbidden,
to be new is not to be frightful,
to be black is not to be ugly.

Thus let me find truths true to Thee,
that I may live with them,
and Thee,
and myself,
in peace.

(a prayerfrom the 8th century Gelasian Sacramentary, the second oldest extant liturgical book in the West, by way of Leonard Sweet's Facebook page)

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