Sunday, August 26, 2018
PRAYING FROM THE DEPTHS
I suppose I should start with a follow-up report about Last Sunday's "Monkfest." In two words, it was a huge success. It was a cloudy day, but the clouds served to keep the temperature cool, and they didn't dump any rain on our picnic. So, the Lord answered my prayers!
ON A SADDER NOTE
I was away for the past few days enjoying visits with friends and relatives. Unfortunately a recurring theme on radio and t.v. and in the news paper was the terrible business of allegations against Catholic priests and even a cardinal. What is one to think? Or feel? It's such a tragedy for the victims and for the People of God, and for those who look to the Catholic Church for moral guidance. I certainly do not want to offer any further comment at the moment. But I'll tell you what I prayed about early this morning.
I was sitting in church as usual feeling deeply sad and angry at the way the power of evil has insinuated itself into our Church. I felt like the Psalmist in Psalm 79 who scolds the Lord for allowing the pagans to destroy Jerusalem and desecrate its temple. Here are some verses of his complaint:
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have left the corpses of your servants
as food for the birds of the sky,
the flesh of those devoted to you for the beasts of the earth.
We have become the reproach of our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us.
I went to this psalm to see how the rest of the lament goes. Here's some of what I found:
Let your compassion move quickly ahead of us,
for we have been brought very low.
on account of the glory of your name.
Deliver us, pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.
Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation
we will recount your praise. (Psalm 79 passim)
So, I sat with those inspired words, identifying with the powerful feelings of the psalmist. I especially prayed with the words, "Let your compassion move quickly ahead of us, for we have been brought very low." I "stretched myself out" in that prayer, asking for the Lord's mercy to "move quickly ahead of us."
May his mercy indeed move quickly ahead of us to heal and encourage the victims, to strengthen and support all whose faith is being shaken at this terrible time, and people like me who are grieving.