Valuable work

Pepper picker in El SalvadorDear Lord,

those of us who plough the land, as men and women who earn our bread with the sweat of our foreheads, those of us who believe that the seed is life and generates life…

Those of us who enrich the soil through our work, who are humble farm workers, yet have knowledge – we ask you for strength in these difficult times.

Liberate us, Lord, from those who say that we, who are peasant farmers, belong to the past. Free us, Lord, from cynical people who say that there have to be losers as well as winners. Free us from them, because we know that we are in this world to live in solidarity and justice.

We do not believe that we should disappear, either as a social class or as a rural culture. We do not want to live in city slums or emigrate to other countries. We do not want our families to become fragmented.

Oh Lord, protect us from those who are driven by insatiable greed. From those who always want more and more money. From those who make commerce out of the land, water and earth.

Save us from falling into the clutches of those who say: “I have enough economic power to spread false information, so that lies appear as truth”. Give us courage to face the struggle. Give us the strength of your peace.

May our spiritual leaders be filled with your Spirit, so that they may guide us along the path of faith and hope.

Dear Lord, let us not fall into the temptation of individualism. Give us the blessing of respectful and intelligent relationships.

Oh Lord, in you we trust. You have always been our strength. You have always been our refuge. We hold to you, you who are the way, truth and life.

Provided by Erasmo Valiente, Jesuit Development Service Community Worker, El Salvador


CAFOD is the official overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. CAFOD believes that all human beings have a right to dignity and respect, and that the world’s resources are a gift to be shared equally by all men and women, whatever their race, nationality or religion. Underpinning CAFOD’s work is a deeply held set of values that are central to its ethos and identity. We act based on principles of compassion, solidarity, stewardship and hope.

Photo: Pepper picker in El Salvador. [Photo credit: Venessa Kurz/Progressio]