Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Christ's presence in extreme poverty

At last night's communion service, the Gospel reading had Jesus noting that we will always have the poor with us. St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Memphis, Tennessee has created thought-provoking stations of the cross in which they are stations based on those in extreme poverty, one of the very groups for whom Jesus had so much compassion. The stations they created are:

Station #1 - CONDEMNED
50,000 people are sentenced to die each day because of extreme poverty.
Lord, help us to find the Way of the Cross to be the way of life and justice and peace.

Station #2 - BURDENED
Consider the starving of the world, the 800 million people who go to bed hungry every day.
Lord, give bread to the hungry; give hunger for justice to those who have bread.

Station #3 - OVERWHELMED
Unfair trade rules and crushing debt cost the world’s poorest countries more than $714 billion yearly.
Lord, open our eyes to structures of oppression and free us from apathy and indifference.

Station #4 - LOVED
More than half a million women die in pregnancy and childbirth each year, one every second. 99% are in developing countries.
Lord, lead us to advocate for suffering mothers whose health, dignity and choices are in jeopardy from illness, poverty, hunger, and violence.

Station #5 - ASSISTED
Education reduces poverty, providing choices and opportunities for a better life. 115 million children, 94% in developing countries, are not in school.
Lord, help us to share our blessings of health, education, food and clean water, offering a more hopeful life for millions of your children.

Station #6 - RECOGNIZED
More than 2.6 billion people have no basic sanitation and more than 1 billion people use unsafe sources of drinking water.
Lord, thank you for the beauty and abundance of the earth. Help us to be good stewards of Your creation.

Station #7 - STUMBLED
Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the destitute ... defend the rights of the poor and needy. - Proverbs 31:8-9
Lord, let not the needy be forgotten nor the hope of the poor be taken away.

Station #8 - CRIED
Gender equality will ensure women an equal chance to improve their lives and the lives of their families especially through education and employment.
Lord, enlighten us to provide women everywhere with equal dignity and opportunity. Inspire every society to oppose violence against women and strengthen gender justice.

Station #9 - FALLEN
Every 30 seconds an African child dies of malaria. Every day 8000 people die of AIDS. These are preventable, treatable diseases.
Lord, empower us to be instruments of your healing by advocating for prevention programs and affordable medicines for those without the means to cope with their illnesses.

Station #10 - DISHONORED
The world’s 32.8 million refugees and displaced persons, the result of conflicts over scarce resources and political discord, are those least likely to benefit immediately from global anti-poverty efforts.
Lord, give us courage to take the path of risk. Give us grace to listen to those whose voice is lost, to hear their cries and shout out for justice.

Station #11 - CRUCIFIED
When one part of the Body of Christ suffers, we all suffer. "God ... has given us the ministry of reconciliation." - 2 Cor. 5:18
Lord, in the midst of conflict and division you turn our minds to thoughts of peace. Your Spirit changes our hearts and nations seek peace together. For this we never cease to thank and praise you.

Station #12 - DIED
Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Darfur ... the world is gradually waking up to the fact that genocide is a problem of immense evil.
Lord, Forgive us our faint-heartedness and selfishness, for failing to love others as we should, for failing to believe that you have empowered us to protect our brothers and sisters.

Station #13 - MOURNED
More than 25 % of children under age 5 in developing countries are malnourished. More than 11 million of them die each year
from preventable illnesses.
Lord, give us the compassion to meet the basic needs of children worldwide for food, clean water, health care, freedom from exploitation, and education.

Station #14 - BURIED
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons ... will you strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being?
Lord, grant that all who are baptized into the death of your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory.



  • At 3/18/2008 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Of course you were going to hear from me about these--I love them!

    It would be neat to elaborate on them a bit and maybe do something similar at one of the Friday evening Stations of the Cross during next Lent. Maybe...?


  • At 3/18/2008 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you for providing yet another way in which to pray our way through Lent. Even in our most dire poverty, we are rich in this country compared with others in the world. This touched me deeply. I agree with Kelly that we might find a meditation to incorporate these thoughts next year. Or maybe because of this Lenten experience, throughout the year.

    Maggie B


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