Forgive Us the Wrong We Have Done


As you look upon those who imprison us and upon those who deliver us to the torture chamber; when you consider the actions of our jailers and the heavy sentences passed upon us by our judges; when you pass judgment on the life of those who humiliate us and the conscience of those who reject us, forgive, O Lord, the evil that they may have done.

Remember, rather, that it was by this sacrifice that we draw close to your crucified Son: through torture, we obtain his wounds; through jail terms, his freedom of spirit; through punishment, the hope of his kingdom; through humiliation, the joy of his sons.

Remember, O Lord, that this suffering germinates, within us, the crushed seed that sprouts, the fruit of justice and of peace, the flower of light and love.

But remember especially, O Lord, that we never want to be like them, or to do to our neighbors what they have done to us.

-Brother Fernando, Brother Ivo, and Brother Betto, “Orcado de um prisioneiro” (“Prayer of a Prisoner”), in O Canto na fogueiro (“Song from the Execution Pyre”), Petropolis, 1977, p.346


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