Viatorians in the Arlington Heights/Chicago region gathered Sunday for a unique Lenten prayer service. In the intimate setting of the Province Center chapel, they went through the Beatitudes and prayed for people affected by each one — and those who embody them. A meal of soup and bread followd. Here’s a sampling:
Blest are the poor in spirit, the reign of God is theirs.
“For all people,” they prayed, “especially the women and children who are fleeing war ravaged countries such as Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, Africa and so many others.”
Blest are the sorrowing, they will be consoled.
“Blessed are those who wear compassion like a garment, those who have learned how to find themselves by losing themselves in another’s sorrow.
Blest are the lowly, they shall inherit the land.
“Blessed are those who know that all they are is a gift from God, and so they can be content with their greatness and their smallness, knowing themselves and being true to themselves.”
Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness, they shall have their fill.
“Blessed are those who are hungry for goodness, those who never get enough of God and truth and righteousness.”
Blest are they who show mercy, mercy shall be theirs.
“Blessed are the merciful, those who remember how much has been forgiven them, and are able to extend this forgiveness into the lives of others.”
Blest are the single-hearted, they shall see God.
“Blessed are those whose hearts are free and simple, those who have smashed all false images and are seeking honestly for truth.”
Blest are the peacemakers, they shall be called children of God.
“Blessed are the creators of peace, those who build roads that unite rather than walls that divide, those who bless the world with the healing power of their presence.”
Blest are those persecuted for holiness’ sake, the reign of God is theirs.
“Blessed are those whose love has been tried, like gold, in the furnace and found to be precious, genuine and lasting, those who have lived their belief out loud, no matter what the cost or pain.”