Browsing From the Pastor's Desk

A Prayer for Healing

Sep 14, 2018

The Lord gives; the Lord takes; the Lord gives again.

By now you’ve probably heard that I am moving and that you will be getting a brand new pastor. We can’t tell you yet who the new pastor is because he needs to be confirmed by the Senate. Just kidding on that last part, and thank God. But his appointment needs to be made official by Archbishop Carlson. You will be happy.

I will miss this parish and all the wonderful people here. Your new pastor will be very lucky. I will speak more about all that later before I leave.

The wonderful nature of this parish and its people was never more in evidence than on September 5 in our Town Hall Meeting on the abuse crisis. Close to 100 people were present to express their feelings and concerns, as well as their hopes and ideas for the future. I found it very helpful and constructive. It would have been great if all the bishops had been there to listen, but hopefully they have all been hearing from their people. If there was one message that came through from our meeting, it is that it is imperative for lay people to be involved in a change of culture and process, and that requires lay people to speak up and out to their bishops.

This is our challenge, to fix the problem, starting at the top. If there is no cover-up, if the incidences of abuse are treated as the crimes they are, the perpetrators will not be so emboldened.

The final point of the meeting was to recognize that, for all the procedural and cultural changes that may be made, this is fundamentally a spiritual problem. It may not be fashionable to speak about Satan, but the power of evil is hard at work to attack the Church through these human vulnerabilities of our sexual drive, our pride, and our instinct for self-defense. We all need to work on shoring up our defenses through prayer, among other ways.

We ended the meeting with a prayer, which I was asked to publish…so that we all can pray it, and pray it often. So here it is.

Prayer for Healing
Lord Jesus, you are the master of life and death.
Everything we have is yours, and we love you very deeply.
Just one touch from you restores the sick, heals the broken,
and transforms the darkness.
Only you can do this, only you.
So we ask that you would be with your Church
and her abused children right now
May they sense your presence
May they feel your power
May they know your love
May their body be overwhelmed with light and truth
with healing and wellness
just as it was in the beginning.
As you first intended us to be, may they be restored
Lord, may justice flow like a river
reaching our barren lands and sun-scorched deserts,
reaching deep into your Church.
Where people feel forgotten and hopeless, abandoned or abused
Let your water of life comfort them and protect them
May your sons and daughters hear your voice
May we live as you lead us to live,
Go as you bid us to go,
Serve as you inspire us to serve,
Give as you teach us to give,
Until the earth is covered with the glory of God
As the waters cover the sea
Thank you, Lord, that you hear our prayer
That you have overcome the world
That you hold all of heaven and earth in your loving hands
And that you have given us the promise of eternity in our hearts forever
Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts,
heal your people’s wounds
and transform our brokenness.
Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace,
so that we may act with justice
and find peace in you.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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