A prayer for a divided nation

Oct 1, 2018

This past weekend, at the Masses for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time, I shared a prayer composed by a friend in light of the events of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.  Many people have asked for a hard copy of the prayer.  This is the best I can do, in light of the fact that people from the Diocese are monitoring the posts on our parish website, and this blog.  I offer this for your private prayer and reflections.

 

Let us pray…

Our nation is divided, Lord,
and the gap between the two sides could widen the Grand Canyon
and stretch it from coast to coast...
Division and acrimony, Lord:
bitterness, mistrust, animosity, prejudice,
ill will, sarcasm, rancor, hostility - and hardness of heart...

And all this, Lord, on both sides of the divide...

It's painful, Lord, to see revealed how divided, 
how broken is this nation,
how deep our common wounds, 
how much in need of healing its people,
how helpless and weak we are,
unable to lay aside our ideologies for the truth,
our greed for justice, our comfort for self-sacrifice, 
our partisanship for unity...

And you know well, Lord, there is no easy fix here,
no overnight solution, no facile reconciliation:
our wounds are much too deep and of the kind 
that only time and sacrifice and humility can begin to heal...

And prayer, Lord, we pray for healing…

We'll not right these wrongs on our own,
we'll not salvage this nation's glory and promise
through our own determination and strength -
we will not, we cannot do this by ourselves
but only with your help, your strength and your power, Lord...

And so, we pray, Lord... 
• We pray you give the counsel we need
to truly understand the depth of our division...
• We pray you give the wisdom we need
to see through and beyond our petty schemes...
• We pray you give the strength we need
to build again what we've dismantled in our foolishness...
• We pray for determination to persevere,
especially when the task at hand seems impossible...
• We pray you renew your gift of faith, Lord, 
that we might remember it's you, our Creator,
who endow us with certain, unalienable rights...

Send us your Spirit, Lord, to lead us and guide us,
to shape and mold us in your image,
to refresh and strengthen your people with your grace 
and most of all:  to seek you and find you and know you
in all things, in the whole of creation and especially, Lord, 
in one another and in this nation we call our home...
Amen.