hope and despair

Last night we watched some of the special on tv about the hurricane. I normally don’t watch tv news. I stopped a long time ago for my mental health. There’s usually just so much fear mongering. But last night, it visually said what I’ve been picking up in the newspaper and radio accounts as the underlying theme … race and class relations. Will we as a nation finally face up to the fact that our sordid history has not in fact been dealt with, just pushed under the rug? And then when a hurricane comes and pushes it back to the forefront, and we white Americans are sitting in horror in our living rooms as our government appears to do nothing as the least amongst us suffer, what do we think? What do we feel? What do we do?

I decided to pray for the people in Louisiana who are probably too tired and full of despair to pray for themselves. And as often happens, the evening prayer in my People’s Companion to the Breviary was perfectly matched to my needs last night. I only hope that somehow it helped someone who was having trouble sleeping last night outside or cramped into an overcrowded shelter. I hope it gave them some hope.

We can and should be outraged at what has happened, but we should not and cannot give up hope. Christ is the source of our peace. God is our hope. The readings today also seem perfectly matched.

Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry – how he went into the house of God and took the loaves of the offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which the priests alone are allowed to eat?
– Luke 6: 3-4

Arrogant men are attacking me,
bullies hounding me to death,
no room in their thoughts for God.
But now God is coming to my help,
the Lord, among those who sustain me.
-Psalm 54: 3-4

You were once estranged and of hostile intent through your evil behavior; now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body, to bring you before himself holy, faultless and irreproachable – as long as you preserver and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves drift away from the hope promised by the gospel, which you have heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have been the servant.
-Colossians 1: 21-23

In despair it’s all too easy to have no room in your thoughts for God. Funnily, in my experience when you make room for God, there’s less room for despair. Pray for our brothers and sisters on the Gulf. Pray for our men and women working to relieve their suffering. Pray for our government, pray for our country. Please.

This morning we’re headed off to the coast on a little mini groovy sisters field trip.
Peace Out

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