Each set of texts within this prayer pattern represents a different facet of the one mystery of Jesus. These texts from John's last discourses and the texts associated with them have, as an overall objective, to provide prayer material whereby a person may grow in greater intimacy with the person of Jesus. No specific `grace' is suggested to pray for. Depending on where one is, a person should articulate for oneself what one is seeking and desiring. For this reason, although the texts are given sequentially, what ultimately dictates the choice of any material for prayer are one's needs at the moment.

- I -


Jn 13:1-20 Jesus washes his disciples' feet ... no servant is greater than the master.

 Other Texts:

Eph 5:1-7 Follow Christ by loving as he loved.
Phil 2:5-11 God emptied God's self to assume the condition of a slave.
Rom 6:15-19 You have been set free from sin... now you are slaves of God.
Is 42:1-4 Here is my servant whom I uphold
Ps 40 Put your hope in God: I shall praise my Saviour God.

- II -


Jn 13:33-38 I shall not be with you much longer I give you a new commandment.

 Other Texts:

1Jn 3:1-24 My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk...
Lk 10:25-37 The great commandment.
Acts 4:23-35 The whole group of believers was united heart and soul.
Ps 133 Love both brotherly and sisterly.

- III -


Jn 14:1-7 Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still and trust in me.

 Other Texts:

1Th 4:1-12 We have been called by God to be holy.
Heb 6:1-20 God will not forget your love.
Rom 4:18-25 Abraham's faith ... God's fidelity.
Lk 12:22-31 Trust in Abba.
Ps 91 Trust in God.
Ps 131  In the arms of God our Mother.

- IV -


Jn 14:8-13 To have seen me is to have seen Abba

 Other Texts:

Ex 33:7-11 The Holy One would speak to Moses face to face as one speaks with a friend.
Jn 1:16-18 Indeed, from God's fullness we have all received - yes, grace in return for grace...
Jn 6:46-51 The Son only has seen Abba.
Col 1:15-20  He is the image of the unseen God.
2 Cor 4:1-6  It is the same God who has shone in our minds to radiate the glory on the face of Christ
Ps 147 Hymn to the Almighty

- V -


Jn 14:14-21 Whatever you ask for in my name I will do it... If you love me you will keep my commandments.

 Other Texts:

Mt 7:7-11 Ask, and it will be given to you.
Lk 11:1-13  Search and you will find.
Acts 3:16-26 It is through faith in Jesus that the miracles of the early church were accomplished and stood out.
Deut 6:4-9 Listen Israel, you shall love the Holy One your God with all your heart.
1Jn 2:3-6 We can be sure that we are in God, when we live the same life Jesus lived...
Ps 16 O God, my heritage.

- VI -


Jn 14:23-29 Those who do not love me, do not keep my words.... The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, will teach you everything

 Other Texts:

Deut 7:12-15 Listen to these ordinances, be true to them.
Eph 3:14-21  Out of the infinite glory, may God, through the Spirit,give you the grace for your hidden self to grow strong so that Christ may live in your hearts.
Jn 3:9-16 We speak only about what we know and witness, only to what we have seen.
Eph 2:11-18  Through Jesus we have in the one Spirit our way to come to our loving God.
Ps 103 God is Love.

- VII -


Jn 15:1-6 I am the true vine.

 Other Texts:

Is 5:1-7 Let me sing to my friend the song of one's love for one's own vineyard.
Phil 1:3-11 This will help you to become pure and blameless, and prepare for the day of Christ Jesus.
Deut 8:11-20 Remember the Holy One your God....
Hos 10:1-8 Israel was a luxuriant vine.... and the more it grew, the more divided became its heart.
Mt 20:1-16 Parable of the vineyard labourers.
1Cor 12:12-30 The human body, though made up of many parts, is a single unit.
Ps 116 A hymn of thanksgiving.

- VIII -


 Jn 15:9-17 This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.... you are my friends if you do what I command you.

 Other Texts:

Jn 4:32-34 My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete God's work.
Jn 6:35-40 I have come from heaven not to do my own will, but to do the will of the one who sent me.
Jn 8:27-30 What Abba has taught me is what I preach.
Rom 5:5-8 The love of God has been poured into our hearts.
Gal 2:15-21 I have been crucified with Christ Jesus.
Ps 19 The precepts of the Holy One are upright ...

- IX -


Jn 15:18-27 If they persecuted me, they will persecute you

 Other Texts:

Mt 10:11-24 You will be dragged before rulers, kings and queens for my sake.
Acts 7:1-60 Stephen's speech, his trial, his prayer of forgiveness, his stoning.
Jn 8:21-30 When you have lifted me up, then you will know who I am.
Jn 1:1-14 Jesus came to his own people and they did not accept him.
1Cor 4:6-13 Here we are, fools for the sake of Christ...
2Cor 4:7-18  We see no answer to our problems, but never despairing; we have been persecuted, but never deserted.
Is 50:4-11 I made no resistance, neither did I turn away, I offered my back to those who struck me.
Ps 37 Unprovoked they spread their net for me, they dug a pit for me.

- X -


Jn 16:5-15.... when the Spirit of truth comes you will be brought to thecomplete truth .... the Spirit will glorify me.

 Other texts:

Jn 1:29-34 I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove and resting on him.
Jn 8:21-24 If you do not believe that I am the Holy One, you will die in your sins.
1Tim 3:14-16 God was made visible in the flesh, attested by the Spirit.
Jn 12:20-36 While you still have the light, believe in the light, and you will become children of the light.
Acts 2:1-13 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:14-36 In those days, I will pour out my spirit .... what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.
Ez 36:16-38  I shall put a new spirit in you .... I shall put my spirit in you ... you shall be my people and I will be your God.
Rom 8:1-30 In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ, you would not belong to him.
1Cor 2:1-16 For the Spirit reaches the depths of everything.
Ps 89  Hymn and prayer celebrating God's faithfulness.

- XI -


Jn 16:16-33 I tell you most solemnly, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.

 Other Texts:

Jn 1:35-51 I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the one sent by God.
Heb 11:1-40  The witnesses of faith: in virtue of the Holy One's promises, the coming of the Son... and eventually the sending of the Spirit.
Heb 9:11-28  The covenant reaffirmed through the suffering and death of Jesus - a perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit
2Cor 1:3-11  When we are made to suffer, it is for your consolation and salvation.
2Cor 5:11-6:10  We are looked upon as most miserable, and yet we are always rejoicing.
2Cor 12:1-10 So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me...
Ps 145 Hymn in praise of our God



First Stage - Lk ch 4 vs 31 through ch 9 vs 21

 The disciples, fascinated by Jesus' prestige, the authority of his word, and the trust he places in them, follow him without hesitation, become his living companions, and at the end of this stage, through Peter, proclaim he is the Christ of God.

Second Stage - Lk ch 9 vs 22 through ch 22 vs 46

 When Jesus begins to talk about the passion, and begins to make known the conditions of discipleship, the disciples, while continuing to follow, show an ever growing incomprehension of the mystery of salvation he brings.

Third Stage - Lk ch 22 vs 47 through ch 23 vs 56

 During the passion, the disciples stay away from Jesus, and mix with the crowd, which becomes hostile to him. They are deeply deceived, and their hope in Jesus begins to vanish.

Fourth Stage - Lk ch 24 through Acts ch 1 vs 11

 For forty days the Risen Jesus sets about to complete the formation of the disciples. But they show themselves to be incredulous, hesitant, and they cannot understand why Jesus had to go through the passion to enter into glory.

Fifth Stage - Acts ch 1 vs 12 through ch 9 vs 43

 The disciples begin to pray. They are invaded by the power of the Spirit, and they begin to witness to Christ. From that moment, they accept to suffer persecution as authentic witnesses of the master. Their commitment is complete and definitive.

Sixth Stage - Acts ch 10 vs l though ch 11 vs 18

 The beginning of the evangelization of the gentile world. God's Spirit calls Peter to total detachment from his religious Judaism ... so that the message of salvation be accepted by the entire world.




"If we could but see the earth as it is ... the harmonious interdependence of all creatures throughout time ... we would tremble in awe and adoration, and we would weep for our arrogance in the destruction of her beauty and resources...."
Gen 1:1-26  Creation story ... we are a part of the creation
Job 38:1-40:5   Where were you when I created the universe ... out of whose womb came the marvels of dawn ... Job answered I shall cover my mouth and speak no more
Ps 8  How wonderful your name throughout the earth!
Jn 1:1-5   In the beginning was the word in whom all things were made...

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out like shining from shook foil,
It gathers to a greatness like the ooze of oil Crushed.
Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this nature is almost spent;
Soon dead the dearest freshness deep down things;
And as the last lights off the black West went
Still morning, at the brown brink eastward springs---
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World
broods with pained breast and with ohhh! pale wings.

( -- if Gerard Manley Hopkins were alive today would he not write the final stanza differently and probably keep the gender the way it is?)

"Ecology is the spirituality of reconciliation of the human species with the earth - our source of life and nourishment. It is a reunion. A coming home...."

Rom 8:19-23 All of creation groans desiring to share in the freedom of redemption
Rev 21:1-5  I saw a new heaven and a new earth ... wipe away every tear ... I will make all things new
Is 2:2-4  God shall judge between the nations ... we shall beat our swords and spears into ploughshares and pruning hooks
Is 65:17-25  I am about to create a new earth ... no more shall there be an infant that lives only a few days

"The greatest threat today is environmental insecurity. It overlaps all national boundaries, affects our shared ecosystems. At last there are no military solutions. National sovereignty and national security are obsolete! A new hope is born! Ecological systems will not change; our thought systems and policies, our governments and institutions can and must change...."

 Gen 11:1-9 Story of the tower of Babel,a good metaphor showing human differences of culture and language and how evil and greed can prevent us from listening to each other
Ps 33 God's creation ... from heaven God watches everything ... useless is the horse for safety
Is 55:6-13 Seek God while God is still near and there is yet time ... let the scoundrel forsake selfish ways ... in the place of the thorn bush the cypress will grow
Sir 42:15-43:3 Work of God in nature ... God is all in all ... who alone knows creation's secrets

Jesus dreamt
Of a world
Of one
Global family
Each person
And blood family
Being a gift
From his Abba
Attempting to
Overcome the
Barriers of
Race, colour,
Sex and creed.
Locally we
Come together
With our individualities
Our languages
And cultures

 Separate and distinct....
But there are
The obstacles
Of not knowing
Each other
And therefore
Experiencing a degree
Of unsureness
And fear.
We pass different ones
Sometimes as shadows ...
Each of us
So tends to
Be centred on self
And yet how
We hunger for
Change, conversion
Of our hearts
And minds.

 ...adapted from a poem by T. McKillop

"No generation has been asked to do what we must do: Change our whole way of seeing, thinking, valuing, behaving! To place the well-being of nature as the first priority of our society, to re-order our personal, familial, national, international patterns - our economics, waste disposal, our addictions to consumption... To measure the quality of human life in terms other than wealth. Previous changes in human thinking of this magnitude (e.g.,as the abolition of human sacrifice) have taken long periods of time. Our change must be swift if we are to survive. And there are no road maps..."

Is 66:1-4 True worship and the consequences of false worship (consequences of our not heeding God's call through the needs of planet earth and the people it sustains)
Matt 4:1-11  Temptations of Jesus in the desert ... we do not live by bread alone ... we can not measure human life only in terms of food, impressing others and power
1Cor 2:7-16 We need the wisdom of God ... the Spirit teaches us a new mode of perception .. we must become spiritual persons and not just `natural' persons

we are ...

                                                   we are 
                             the refugees ... 
                         who move by night 
                              and hide by day 
                           by moonlight 
                                in shadows 
                                enemy eyes 
                        anonymous gunfire 
                                             frantic   bleeding    frightened   torn. 

                                                     in barbed wire 
                                                                  by footsteps 
                                                     by humankind 
                                                                   by brothers 
                                                                   by sisters 

                             tormented   weeping   trembling   lost. 
                                            we are 
                                               the refugees ... 
                                           who move by night ... 
                                              and hide by day ...
--- by Ruth McLean

"Each person carries within images/thoughts that have power to bring about new life even more beautiful than before...".

Mi 4:1-3 God will judge between nations and we shall beat our spears and swords into ploughshares and pruning hooks
Eph 3:16-21 Prayer for readers. May God grant you the power of the Spirit to perceive the vastness of God's love in everything

"God's power is the power of compassion. Human compassion releases the power in the world -- the only power that can bring about our conversion and the healing of the earth."

Is 58:2-14 True fasting and worship must include freeing the oppressed and exercising compassion
Matt 25:31-46  Image of judgement of nations - separation of sheep and goats - when you gave a cup of water to the little ones you did it to me
2Cor 1:3-6 God of consolation gives us consolation in our suffering so that we can console others
"We can rely on a power at work in nature and the human heart, a power, a truth that will heal and unite us. We will join the dance of the universe, find our common ground here in our garden home - the earth...."
Gen 1:26 -31 God creates humankind in God's own image and gives humankind responsibility for creation and everything in it
Is 65:17-25 I am about to create a new earth ... no more shall there be an infant that lives only a few days
Is 66:5-13 God will gather together the nations as a mother

"There is a power for good in the world ... An energy at work in the deepest forces of nature and the human heart. ... To believe in God ... to believe in the resurrection is to believe that this power for good is stronger than the power for evil - and will prevail! Our faith will release this power..."

Heb 1:1-12 In Christ all things hold together ... God is head of all creation ... earth will grow old like God's garment
Col 1:13-20 All things hold together in Christ Jesus...God delivers us from the power of darkness to the realm of God's son in whom all things hold together


A Prayer from Anselm of Canterbury

 O my God teach my heart where and how to seek you,
where and how to find you...
You are my God and you are my All and I have never seen you.
You have made me and remade me,
You have bestowed on me all the good things I possess,
Still I do not know you...
I have not yet done that for which I was made....
Teach me to seek you...
I cannot seek you unless you teach me
or find you unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire, let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you, let me love you when I find you.

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

 O Holy Spirit, give me stillness of soul in you.
Calm the turmoil within, with the gentleness of your peace.
Quiet the anxiety within, with a deep trust in you.
Heal the wounds of sin within, with the joy of your forgiveness.
Strengthen the faith within, with the awareness of your presence.
Confirm the hope within, with the knowledge of your strength.
Give fullness to the love within, with an outpouring of your love.
O Holy Spirit, be to me a source of light, strength and courage
so that I may hear your call ever more clearly
and follow you more generously.

from William Browning, C.P

I Asked God For Strength

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of others.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

 I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all, most richly blessed.

- by Henry Viscardi

1. This section on discipleship can be used in several ways: a) for an experience of quiet prayer where a person uses the text for lectio divina in between the prayer periods; b) for study; c) for group work with various groups taking different sections; c) for understanding the various shifts in one's own lifelong conversion experiencess. Back to document

2. This title and each of the quotations that form the themes of this prayer pattern come from the very beautiful calendar, "Wounded Earth, Wonder Earth" by Mary Southard (c) 1989, used with permission. Send inquiries to: Calendar - Sisters of St. Joseph, 1515 Ogden Ave., La Grange Park, Il., 60525-1798. Ph (708) 354 9573.Back to document

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