A Prayer by Joseph Chiwatenha

[Joseph was the first known Chrstian martyr among the earliest Catholics among the Huron tribe.  He and his wife were pillars of the nstive American Catholics in the first half of the 17th century in Canada.  Pope John Paul II recognized their contributions while visiting Canada in 1984.  For a fascinating look at a part of Church history please read the story which contains this beautiful prayer found at the link below.]
John Richard Coke Smyth

O God, at last I start to understand you.
You made the earth which we live in.
You made the sky which we see above us.
You made us, we who are called people.
Now you let me start to know who you really are.

I know how to make a canoe, and how to enjoy it
I know how to build a cabin and how to live in it.
But you… you made us, and you live in us.
The things we make last for a few seasons.
We only use the canoes we create for a short time.
We only live in the houses we build for a few years.
But your love for us will endure so long
that we cannot count the time.
You will comfort us forever.

As long as we live, how can anyone not acknowledge you?
You are the one who protects us.
The time we feel your presence the most
is when we face death
You are the one with  the power to keep our souls alive,
because only you know how to love us
in the deepest part of ourselves.
Not even a mother or father can love
a human being the way you do.
Your love for us is so strong that
it makes evil spirits lose their power.
Now I begin to see that the reason you made us
is because you want to share your love.
Nothing attracts you as much as your people.

Thank you for letting me understand you
You love us so deeply that all I can do in return
is offer myself to you I claim you
as my elder and chief There is no one else.
Ask me for anything you want
Just let me always hold you in my heart.
I always want to feel you watching & protecting me.
I offer you my family. If any evil strikes them when I am away,
I know you will take care of them
Your love is more than I can ever give them
Thank you … from my heart.

I see the loving way you lead us along the path of life.
You want what is best for us.
If we have poverty, let us feel your love in it.
If we get rich, do not let comfort make us forget that we need you
Never let us turn into selfish people.
Never let us think we are better than others who have less.
You love us equally, rich and poor.
We are people, your people, and you love us as we are.
It fills me with joy to know you.
I can feel the presence of your love.

Thank you for letting me give you myself just as I am
The more I thank you, the more I find I can give myself to you
Help me let go of the things I used to place my faith in.
All I ask is to be yours.
It would have been enough to give us life
and the gifts of the earth Thank you for them
But you’ve given us much more. In you, we live forever.
I can hardly imagine what heaven is like,
but it is enough for me to know your love and
to  believe in you with all my heart.
You have promised to let us be free spirits in you,
and because I know you love us,
your promise gives me hope.

Help us to welcome suffering if it means
we will know our need of you more deeply.
In our suffering, help us give ourselves to you
We don’t have to be afraid to die,
because death is the new birth
that lets us live fully in you
Life is a journey, and with you as our companion and
our destination, it will end with great joy.
Lord, I am not afraid of death anymore.
I will rejoice when I know the time has come for me to die.
I do not even want to mourn the passing of my relatives.
All I need to remember is you
are bringing them to be with you in paradise.
You want to take them away so
they can have perfect happiness.  Amen

[SOURCE: http://www.wyandot.org/friendsofgod.html%5D

[ART: The Huron Indians of Loreth.  Lithography by John Richard Coke Smyth (1808-1882)   Archives du Canada. ID #20636. This is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.]


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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One Response to A Prayer by Joseph Chiwatenha

  1. Kristen O'Sullivan Harrison says:

    Wow! Simple pure gratitude!!!

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