Lord, teach me to be generous,
to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to seek reward,
save that of knowing that I do your holy will.
The ‘Prayer for Generosity’, which many of us learned as children, is associated with St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order, yet it is unclear whether he actually composed it. One of the earliest references to it comes from 1910, when it began to be used as a prayer for the French scouting movement. To this day it is often known as ‘The Scout Prayer’ and is used by many Scout groups as a blueprint for the work they do.
The prayer perfectly sums up the generous spirit of the many volunteer organisations and charities whose members give their time and energy so freely and generously to help others. There are thousands of volunteers all over our country who put love into action by visiting those who are lonely, listening to those who are struggling, providing food and other supplies for those in need, and fundraising for all sorts of worthy causes. Week in and week out, they give without ever counting the cost. These volunteers are living the message of today’s Gospel, which can be summed up in one short sentence: Go the extra mile. Thank you, Lord, for volunteers. Make us ever more generous with our time, energy and resources. Help us to be compassionate, as you are compassionate.
©Tríona Doherty, www.intercommagazine.ie Veritas