As much as I am outspoken against churches who act as though they worship our country more than Jesus and our foreign policy that does little to provide security or true aid to anyone except the deep pockets of defense contractors, I deeply love my country. On this, her 241st birthday, there are two emotions that fill my heart--thankfulness . . .
NOTE: Being asked to give the invocation for our wing’s 100th anniversary later this summer and thinking about the dissonance between many Christian chaplains’ prayers and the teachings of Scripture led me back to this classic by Mr. Twain. It is pointed, sarcastic, and wonderfully still as relevant today as when it was penned.
what are we praying for and why?
One of the most memorable scenes in the move Patton is when General Patton summons his chaplain, Fr. James O'Neill, and orders him to write a prayer for good weather just before the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. Chaplain O'Neill wrote the following, now-famous, words:
Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech . . .
and seeing Christ in them
"The mystery of the poor is this: That they are Jesus, and what you do for them you do for him. It is the only way we have of knowing and believing in our love. The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge of and belief in love."
-- Dorothy Day
Photo by Davidson . . .
We entered the dark and crowded sanctuary as part of a steady stream of worshipers coming out of the night from the parking lot, across the street, and down the sidewalks. In the dim light, I could barely make out icons on the side walls and icons across the front of the sanctuary (iconostasis). The only light came from behind the iconostasis . . .
"We must also ask for God’s will to be done in our personal lives. Because the Evil One tries again and again to lead us onto the wrong path, we must turn to God daily and ask him to renew our hearts. But we should pray not only for ourselves; we should pray for the whole world – for all humanity and all nations."
-- J. Heinrich . . .
Toward the end of March I had an amazing business trip to Japan. It was my first time there, and it was wonderful. But I lost traction on my writing and still haven’t recovered.