Beloved in Christ,
Many times throughout the day, my heart is pierced with thoughts of sorrow concerning the trials surrounding us. One need only read the Newspaper, watch the News on TV, or even check the website to your favorite News channel to hear bad news. It seems just when-you-thought-you-had-seen-it-all, something more brutal and unbelievable happens. We are in an age where the previously unimaginable has become not only imaginable, but we are even becoming desensitized to these calamities.
Our solution – fortunately we have Christ. Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland, whose memory we shall celebrate shortly, has vouchsafed a glorious prayer called the Lorica. In this lovely prayer he sets Christ before him at all times:
I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me,
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.
Surrounding ourselves in prayer will bring us peace. But what else can we do? Is there a solution for this fallen world? What would a practical solution look like?
The great Fathers of the Church have a practical solution. They understand well the human condition – our struggles and foibles, our passions and sorrows. Consider wise these words:
…Let there be an end to vengeance. Let offences be forgiven. Let harshness be changed to mildness, disdain to gentleness, discord into peace. Let us all make trial of being modest, let all be gentle, all be kind: so that your fasting may be pleasing to God. To Him we shall offer a true sacrifice of self denial and devotion if we keep ourselves from all iniquity. St. Leo, Pope of Rome Lent the Season of Purification