General Federation of Women’s Clubs
Keep us, O God, from all pettiness.
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding
and leave off all self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense
and meet each other face to face,
without self pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgement,
and always be generous.
Let us always take time for all things
and make us grow calm, serene and gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses,
to be straightforward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize that
it is the little things of life that create differences,
that in the big things of life, we are as one.
And, O Lord God, let us not forget to be kind!
In the reconciliation room at St. Anthony's, we have a number of small prayer books to give to penitents. One of them, A Treasury of Prayers (Liturgical Press) contains the beautiful text above, entitled "Mary Stewart's Prayer".
Mary Stewart was the principal of Longmont High School in Colorado and an active member of a women'c club. She wrote this prayer in 1904 as a collect (opening prayer) for her women's club meetings. In 1920, the General Federation of Women's Clubs for the U.S. and Canada published it. From 1949, it was used as a closing prayer for sessions of the United States Senate.