Advent reflections…

I hope you’ll find a moment in the Christmas rush to use this prayer below (written by the Justice & Peace commission of the Catholic diocese of Shrewsbury):

HopeLord, I see injustice all around yet feel powerless to help:
the problems seem too big to overcome and my voice feels too small to make a difference.
For the times I have failed to act to help build a fairer society and thought only of my own needs, I ask your forgiveness.
For the times that my greed and thoughtlessness may have caused the gap between rich and poor to widen, I ask your forgiveness.
Open my eyes, Lord, to see how my actions may adversely affect those around me.
Open my ears, Lord, to hear the cries of the poor and the needy.
Open my heart, Lord, that I may act in love and solidarity with my brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Even in this time of austerity, we can also give thanks for recent successes:

  • The Catholic Bishops Conference and Church of England General Synod both backing the Living Wage principle for Church employees.
  • The Government gave way to pressure and included the power to cap the total cost of credit in the Financial Services Bill.
  • Since the Tax Justice Bus Tour, the government has made a series of announcements regarding tax avoiders. Our campaign is being taken seriously, even though we’re a long way from any kind of solution.

But in all the hustle and bustle that is Advent, please also remember – pray for:

  • Those facing renewed hardship this Christmas, and for whom the year ahead looks bleak.
  • Continued pressure for Fair Taxes, and a global deal to end tax haven secrecy.
  • Poverty and Homelessness Action Week, starting 26 January. We will be using the week to call for an end to the blame game which is seeing people in poverty demonised in the media almost daily.

Happy Christmas, and see you in the New Year

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