A friend of mine from high school passed away recently. It was long before her time, and her presence in our community will be greatly missed. In reflecting on life and death I was reminded of this prayer, which has been one of my favorites for a long time. I am Catholic, but I believe that this particular prayer transcends some of the traditional barriers between religions and holds important meaning for all who read it. I think everyone has some pettiness they can try and cut out of this life. I know I do.
Keep Us From Pettiness
Keep us, O God, from pettiness;
let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with faultfinding and leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretenses and meet each other, face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.
Let us take time for all things; make us to grow calm, serene, gentle. Teach us to put in action our better impulses-straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize
it is the little things of life that create difficulties;
that in the big things of life we are as one.
Oh, Lord, let us not forget to be kind.