Follow-up Prayer for First Sunday of Lent - Year 'C'.
Do I ever steal from your Church or act fraudulently with people's gifts?
Their offerings are your due and a token of their love.
May I, too, be generous in giving and live as economically as possible.
Let the temptations of possible wealth not impede ministry,
Nor the snares of clerical opulence overtake vocation.
Permit my hearts to adhere to simplicity, lest my priesthood withers.
Keep a strict eye on my conscience for I am entrusted with money.
Let me praise you and give thanks for the kind generosity of others
For you have blessed me with a financially viable parish.
You also challenge me to confront those who give nothing of themselves.
Guide any necessary judgement and let this Lent be a time of repentance.
All judgement is yours but there is danger in priestly silence.
Have mercy on those who confess and make reparation for sin
And open the minds of those who think they are innocent.
The plague of money envelops your Church while sinfulness is forgotten
I stand in the midst of decaying buildings as if they were your Church:
0h that your Church had no real estate.
The wealth of your Church is her people, for all Church property will rot.
May your people not perish through lack of pastoral care.
Have mercy when I stand before you to give account of my priesthood,
And afford enough fortitude and courage to stand before your people:
They can see what is in my heart - both love and hate.
The unwitting evidence is all too clear,
People are either strengthened or weakened by what they see.
Let me not steal truth from your people or give scandal to your Church.
Enrich this Lent with recognition of your people's hunger;
Their thirst for greater trust; their lowliness of heart, and their generosity to your Church.
May this season be a time of favour a renewal of submission, active evangelization and praise. Amen.