Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Marianella Garcia Villas *


Teach me, O Father, how to ask you each moment, silently, for your help. If I fail, teach me at once to ask you to forgive me. If I am disquieted, enable me, by your grace, quickly to turn to you.

May nothing this day come between you and me. May I will, do, and say, just what you, my loving and tender Father, desires me to will, do, and say. Work your holy will in me and through me this day.

Protect me, guide me, bless me, within and without, that I may do something this day for love of you; something which shall please you; and that I may, this evening, be nearer to you.

Lead me, O Lord, in a straight way towards yourself, and keep me in you grace unto the end. Amen.

( E. B. Pusey )

PSALM FIFTY-FIVE ( abridged )

Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you.

Hear my prayer, O God;
hide not yourself from my petition.
Give heed to me and answer me;
I am restless in my complaining.

I am alarmed at the voice of the enemy
and at the clamour of the wicked;
for they would bring down evil upon me
and are set against me in fury.
My heart is disquieted within me,
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me,
and a horrible dread has overwhelmed me.

And I said: "O that I had wings like a dove,
for then would I fly away and be at rest.
Then would I flee far away
and make my lodging in the wilderness.
I would make haste to escape
from the stormy wind and tempest."

As for me, I will call upon God
and the Lord will deliver me.
In the evening and morning and at noonday,
I will pray and make my supplication,
and he shall hear my voice.
He shall redeem my soul in peace
from the battle waged against me,
for many have come upon me.

Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you,
and will not let the righteous fall for ever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Cast your burden upon the Lord and he will sustain you.

Lord, in all times of fear and dread,
grant that we may so cast our burdens upon you,
that you may bear us on the holy wings of the Spirit
to the stronghold of your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Marianella Garcia Villas: martyr for justice in El Salvador

It was on the thirteenth and fourteenth of March, 1983 when thirty-four year-old Marianella García Villas was tortured and killed, three years after the assassination of the archbishop with whom this young woman had shared battles and hopes, Oscar Romero.

Born in El Salvador in 1948, a daughter of the rich upper-class, from her teen years Marianella was upset by social injustice in her country. While attending college, where she graduated with a law degree, she joined Catholic Action and trained herself by discussing the Second Vatican Council and the liberation theology movement that had swept through Latin America in the 1970’s.

After college her passion to seek social justice for the poorest in her society led her into politics in the Christian Democratic Party. In 1974 she entered Parliament thanks to the support of the market women and the suburban mothers and wives who had seen her in court as a lawyer defending their rights. Later she began to visit families living in the more difficult areas. She was already aggravating people in powerful positions, and the Christian Democrats marginalised her and she left Parliament in 1976. She founded the Latin-American Human Rights Commission with ties to the United Nations

Marianella began to take pictures with her camera of human rights violations, pictures of dead bodies abandoned on roadsides or found buried after days of searching, devastated by torture. The photos served as a response to the despair of the relatives and to document the truth that public officials tried to deny. She became civilian victim number forty-three thousand three hundred and thirty-seven and for a long time after her assassination the dictatorship continued to refer to her as a subversive guerilla, however, over the years the world has little by little become aware of the young woman’s true story, and the Christian motivation for all that she did.

Scripture. In the eighth chapter of Ecclesiastes, at verses twelve and thirteen, we read:

Though sinners do evil a hundred times and prolong their lives, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they stand in fear before him, but it will not be well with the wicked, neither will they prolong their days like a shadow, because they do not stand in fear before God.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for all who campaign against injustice and stand up for the oppressed, in particular those who risk their lives or liberty in doing so.

... for the people of Hungary who celebrate a national day today.

... for all who are oppressed because of bigotry born of religious dogma.

... for those living in the path of Winter Storm Stella which is due to hit the north-eastern United States on Wednesday, that they may be safe. DETAILS

... for the crew of the Sri Lankan freight ship that has been hijacked by Somali pirates. DETAILS

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.


Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.


From "Key Themes of Liberation Theology" by Leonardo and Clodovis Boff:

The evangelically poor are all those who place themselves and their strength at the service of God and their sisters and brothers; all those who do not put themselves first, who do not see their security and the meaning of their lives and actions in profiting from this world and accumulating possessions, honour power and glory but open themselves to God in gratitude and disinterestedly serve others, even those they hate, building up means of producing a more worthy life for all. Faced with a predatory consumerist society, the evangelically poor will use the goods of this world with moderation and sharing. They are neither rigid ascetics who disdain Gods creation with all the good things God has placed at the disposal of all nor spendthrifts who intemperately and selfishly take all they can for themselves. The evangelically poor are those who make themselves available to God in the realisation of God's project in this world and thereby make themselves into instruments and signs signs of the Kingdom of God. The evangelically poor will establish solidarity with the economically poor and even identify with them
just as the historical Jesus did.

Those who without being socioeconomically poor make themselves poor out of love for and solidarity with the poor in order to struggle against unjust poverty with them and together seek liberation and justice are evangelically poor to a preeminent degree. They do not seek to idealise either material poverty, which they see as a consequence of the sin of exploitation, or riches which they see as the expression of the oppressive and selfish accumulation of goods; instead they seek the means to social justice for all. In the Third World context one cannot be evangelically poor without being in solidarity with the lives causes and struggles of the poor and oppressed.

Sometimes love for the poor can become so intense that individuals give up their own station in life to share in the sufferings of the poor even to the point of sharing their premature death. This is perfect liberation for they have set themselves free from themselves and in following Jesus, the poor man from Nazareth, they have freed themselves fully for others and for the God dwelling within these others.


Look with mercy, gracious God, upon people everywhere who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death, as their constant companions. Rouse us from our complacency and help us follow the example of Marianella Garcia Villas, whose hunger and thirst for justice led her along the way of the cross. Help us, as followers of your son Jesus Christ, to make no peace with injustice, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.

Comments are closed.