How can we fail to gather all humankind into prayer,
since your Divine Son, our brother Jesus Christ,
shed his blood for all people of all lands, of all times?
But hear, O Lord, my special prayer, for my people,
the voiceless ones.
There are thousands and thousands of human
creatures in poor countries and in the slums of
rich countries, with no right to raise their voices,
no possibility of claiming or protesting,
however just are the rights they have to uphold.
The homeless, the starving, the ragged, the wasted,
with no chance of education, no work, no future, no hope;
They may end up believing it was meant to be,
and losing heart –
become the silent, the voiceless ones.
If all of us who believed in you
had helped our rich brothers and sisters
by opening their eyes and stirring their consciences,
unjust people would not have advanced
and the gap between rich and poor,
between individuals and groups,
even between continents would not be so glaring.
Do in us, O Lord, what we have failed and still fail to do.
How difficult it is to get beyond the barrier of aid,
of gifts, of assistance, and reach the realm of justice!
The privileged grow angry; our judgment is unfair, they say.
Meanwhile they discover subversion and communism
in the most democratic, the most human,
the most Christian gestures.
Dom Helder Camara, Brazil
(Photo: Times of Malta)