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Prayer and Hope in the Midst of it All – A Reflection

June 20, 2020

I started to write this blog last night (Friday) but after watching the opening Plenary Session of the 224th General Assembly (GA) of the PC(USA) on Zoom, I was exhausted. Today is a new day and I am returning to the post once more. Once again, this weekend (like so many before) is filled with the ugliness of partisan politics.

If GA224 had been held in Baltimore Denise and I had planned on being there as observers. Today was to be the march on Washington sponsored by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Instead the march was virtual with people from all across the nation gathering to hear the speakers and be challenged to be a part of the change that this country desperately needs. The speakers challenged me to the core. The call to examine my own white male privilege was loud and clear. It gave me plenty to chew on as I learn how to be a part of the change, the difference in this nation.

The bull moose in the picture had been grazing under water for nourishment. I find myself seeking the spiritual nourishment that I need on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. These words of Thomas Merton from 1949 speak to me of that desire for peace in the midst of war and chaos.

Lady, the night has got us by the heart.
The whole wide world is tumbling down.
Words turn to ice in my dry throat
Praying for a land without prayer.

Walking to you on water all winter
In a year that wants more war.

To the Immaculate Virgin, On Winter Night (The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton, p. 219)

Thomas Merton’s words continue to be prophetic today. He spoke in the immediate aftermath of WW2 through the Vietnam War. Fifty-one years after he wrote this poem it speaks to us in our current national and international setting. From my own reflection and prayer must come my own action as a peacemaker.

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