An interreligious prayer, shared by Dean Mark S. Markuly as the opening prayer for the 2012 Seattle University Provost Convocation.
"Let us pause for a moment to make ourselves aware of God’s presence with
Kind and gracious God we come to you at the beginning of
this school year as a community of educators and scholars giving thanks for the
moments of refreshment this past summer, for the beauty of days, and the time
spent with family and friends. We give thanks for the gift of life and for the
noble vocation and profession you have called us to live. Once again we
recommit ourselves to the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth of our
students. We pray for their parents, spouses and children, and the personal
changes and conflicts that will occur as our students learn, grow and develop
different worldviews and opinions.
Gathering as a community of teachers of many religious traditions,
and none at all, we pray with the Muslim tradition and their Holy Koran: “Our
Lord, shower us (this year) with Your mercy, and bless our affairs with Your
We pray in the spirit of the Hindu Upanishads and its’
dialogue between sage and seeker:
Deepen our students awareness of the
responsibility we bear in our relationship with our students. Help us to
accompany them well as they encounter their divine impulses, their heart’s
central questions and the mystery of their interiority as it draws them to
As we introduce our students more deeply into the dynamics
of the human condition, and they learn more of the suffering of humanity, we
pray in the Buddhist tradition:
Help us and our students develop
mindfulness that leads to freedom of self and from self, so we may become
liberated and liberating agents for social change, committed to the core of our
being to the alleviation of the suffering of others.
As our students have old dreams dashed and new dreams
created, we pray in the Jewish tradition:
Give us, and our students, balance
between self and community, and let us experience in both the presence of
divine purpose in our personal histories and the history of the world.
In this region so pregnant with the presence of the beauty
and power of nature, we pray in our Native American traditions:
Inspire us with ways to empower this
in-coming generation of students and their passion for ecological justice. Help
us to inform our educational expertise with the urgency of this moment history
to care for the health of our primary context, the earth.
Lastly, as a community of scholars drawn together under the
mantle of a Jesuit university, we pray in the Christian, Catholic and former
Jesuit superior Pedro Arrupe, SJ:
Grant us, O lord, to see everything now with
new eyes, To discern and
test the spirits that help me read the signs of the times, To relish the things that are
yours, and to communicate them to others.
In these challenging times and throughout the academic year:
Give us the clarity of
understanding that you gave Ignatius, so we might become a light to the darkness in our world.
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