Monday, August 28, 2017

Mass for Peace

Our pastor offered a Mass for Peace at the request of our Bishop. I imagine all of SC united in these prayers. Give peace, O Lord, to them that patiently wait for Thee, that Thy prophets may be found faithful; hear the prayers of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel. I rejoiced at the things that were said to me; we shall go into the house of the Lord. Glory be ... 

Here is a summary of the very beautiful homily Mgsr. McInerney gave: The Bishop asked for this Mass because of the increasing civil discord in our country, the threat of war, and acts of terror around the world. We must understand the necessity of prayer to accomplish anything. We aren't just experiencing a grave political problem, but a deep spiritual problem, which goes all the way back to Adam and Eve, and their fall from grace. It's the problem of Original Sin. Satan always divides. You can see how sin affected Adam and Eve. 1) They were separated from God. Remember how they hide and cover themselves because now they are ashamed. 2) They separated from each other. They blame each other. That woman, which YOU gave me, gave me the fruit. 3) And in the very next generation, we have the first murder. The spirit of evil will exploit any little difference, and will divide us from God, from each other, and even ourselves.

People take offense where none is intended and some people are addicted to their anger and hate, the way they seem to thrive on it, on discord. As in any 12-step program, the first step in recovery is to turn to a higher power for help.

In our culture, religion has a bad connotation. People like to say things like, "I'm spiritual, not religious." But people have forgotten what the root of religion is. It is religare--to bind fast. It is to connect with God, with others, and with ourselves. The word ligament, which binds muscle to bone, also derives from this. Religion begins with respect for God and then we are able to see others as God sees them and so respect them too.

We pray for unity. This doesn't mean we have to be uniform. The Church is a great example of people of different ethnicities, ages, stations in life, etc. but we are all unified in our faith. Today tolerance is preached in the public square but it seems that the very people who preach it are not very tolerant themselves. 

Father brought an image that went viral: a defender of the monuments hugging a protestor who was shaking. I've not seen this picture but what a beautiful testament to assuring the protestor she's safe and loved. Two years ago, Charleston suffered a terrible tragedy at Mother Emmanuel. The shooter wanted to fan the flames of racial hatred. But Charleston was united in offering prayers of peace and the families of the victims all forgave the shooter. This is the closest we can come to God.

Pax Christi.

 

This is an aerial shot of Ave Maria Univ. taken by Michel Shahid, Max's room-mate, or more properly, suite-mate. I'm so glad our sons are there together. I can't help but notice the wet pavement and the water in the tomato field. It looks like Florida got a lot of rain as well from the outer bands of Harvey. We are praying for safety for all in its path and especially for our poor brothers and sisters in Texas. Yesterday was also the Feast of St. Monica. How I love her. She models the steadfast prayer of mothers everywhere for their children. Today we celebrate the Feast of her son--St. Augustine. His Confessions are a gift to all of us and a model for those of us who are writing about how God has acted in our lives. Pray for us. 

3 comments:

Mirka Breen said...

"People take offense where none is intended and some people are addicted to their anger and hate, the way they seem to thrive on it, on discord. As in any 12-step program, the first step in recovery is to turn to a higher power for help. "

Amen.
And worth repeating^.

Johnell DeWitt said...

Beautiful words, Vijaya.

Faith E. Hough said...

I was going to comment on the same sentence Mirka already pointed out. So wise!