A GUIDED PRAYER ON THE CORPORAL ACT OF MERCY "GIVE DRINK TO THE THIRSTY"
Preparation For Prayer
I sit down comfortably and concentrate on my breathing, breathing slowly and deeply. With each life-giving breath I take in I feel God’s life-giving presence within me, sustaining me and giving me strength. I think of water, life-giving water, without which we cannot live and I think about what I am to do – reflect on those who are thirsty.
I ask God to grant me what I wish, that I see who the thirsty are. I pray that I see all who thirst lovingly, with God’s eyes. I pray that God shows me what I have done and not done for the thirsty and what I can do for them.
Context Of Prayer
i. ‘After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst”.’ (Jn 19:28).
I think about Jesus on the cross, needing water. I try to feel his thirst, the longing for relief. I pray that I see Jesus thirsting in the thirst of others.
ii. Experts predict that the wars of the future will be fought over water as peoples compete with dwindling sources of water. Water will become scarcer in the future because of climate change, because of man-made blockage, siphoning off and destruction of waterways and of sources of water and because of pollution. Fresh water will become a very precious resource.
iii. Water shortage seems a thing of the past for us in Malta. We take the water in our taps for granted. Yet it comes at great cost. Enemalta is the Water Services Corporation’s biggest customer because of the amount of energy the reverse osmosis plants require. Do I try to conserve water so as to try to keep the environmental and financial cost of its production to the minimum possible for the benefit of all?
iv. Many villages in sub-Saharan Africa do not have a close or reliable water supply and people, usually women, have to walk great distances to fetch water. Perhaps I can contribute financially or otherwise to their thirst. Or perhaps I can campaign against pollution which compromises the supply of fresh water to whole peoples.
v. Or perhaps the thirst I see around me is not thirst for water but for a more just, humane society. I think of how I have helped to bring justice to some and how I have contributed to injustice in other situations. I think of how I have slacked this thirst in some people but not in others.
vi. Psalm 63 speaks of a thirst for God. Perhaps this is the thirst I see around me. I think of the times I helped to satisfy this thirst in others and of the times when I aggravated it.
vii. I think about other situations when I satisfied other people’s thirst and thank God for them. I ask for forgiveness for the times when I did not do so.
I speak to Jesus directly, as to a friend who is sitting next to me, sharing with Him all that I have thought about and about what I felt as I was reflecting. I pause and listen.
End Of Prayer
I finish by saying slowly and prayerfully the Our Father.