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A Bishop’s Prayer for His Church

(Adapted as a Prayer of a Mother for Her Children)

Jesus, good Shepherd, they are not mine but Yours, for I am not mine but Yours.
I am Yours, Lord, and they are Yours,
because by Your wisdom You have created both them and me,
and by Your death You have redeemed us.
So we are Yours, good Lord, we are Yours,
whom You have made with such wisdom and bought so dearly.

Then if You commend them to me, Lord, You do not therefore desert me or them.
You commend them to me: I commend myself and them to you.
Yours is the flock, Lord, and Yours is the shepherd.
Be Shepherd of both Your flock and shepherd.

You have made an ignorant mother, a blind leader, an erring ruler:
teach the mother You have established
guide the leader You have appointed,
govern the ruler You have approved.

I beg you, teach me what I am to teach,
lead me in the way that I am to lead,
rule me so that I may rule others.
Or rather, teach them, and me through them,
lead them, and me with them,
rule them, and me among them.

Anselm (1033-1109) Archbishop of Canterbury

Translated by Sister Benedicta Ward, S.L.G. Adapted for mothers by RBG, quoted in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, Ruth Bell Graham, 1991, Focus on the Family Publishing, pp. 112-113