Dear God, help me survive the Church!


Rev. James Martin, Catholic priest and author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, recently shared a prayer for the Catholic church that spoke deeply to me.  I think people of all denominations have at various points been able to relate to his words, “We grow worried and concerned and bothered and angry and sometimes scandalized because your divine institution, our home, is filled with human beings who are sinful.  Just like me.”

We all know what it feels like to operate within an institution that doesn’t always behave like the Body of Christ, or at least what WE think Christ’s Body should be like!  Being a part of the Church is an immense privilege and responsibility, and one not without tears of joy and frustration at various points.  You can read the full text of his “Prayer for Frustrated Catholics” at America Magazine’s blog, but I have included an excerpt that I found particularly moving:

Dear God,

…Help me to be peaceful when people tell me that I don’t belong in the church, that I’m a heretic for trying to make things better, or that I’m not a good [Methodist].  I know that I was baptized.  You called me by name to be in your church, God.  As long as I draw breath, help me remember how the holy waters of baptism welcomed me into your holy family of sinners and saints.  Let the voice that called me into your church be what I hear when other voices tell me that I’m not welcome in the church.  Give me peace.

Most of all, help me to place all of my hope in your Son.  My faith is in Jesus Christ.  Give me only his love and his grace.  That’s enough for me.

Help me God, and help your church.


And all God’s people said AMEN! 

NOTE:  If you’re looking for a good book, Rev. James Martin is known for writing with candor, wit and wisdom.  A review of his latest book can be found at


— Caren Swanson


This entry was posted in Inspiration and tagged by Caren Swanson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Caren Swanson

Caren is a former Wellness Advocate with Spirited Life who hails from a small town in the hills of NH, but currently lives in Durham, NC with her family. She enjoys growing, picking and arranging flowers, climbing the magnolia trees in Duke Gardens with her daughter Clara, and hosting potlucks with friends and neighbors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.