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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, September 05, 2013

A Jesuit ...

... on Pope Francis’ call for a day of prayer and fasting for peace.

I've been conflicted about the idea but oday I saw something at The Jesuit Post by Sam Sawyer SJ that made sense to me. It's long - here's just the beginning of it ...

On Syria: Praying Because We Don’t Know What to Hope for

Is it possible for there to be nothing — either practically or morally, by force or persuasion or any other means — that we can do to improve a terrible situation? And when we reach that point, when we can do nothing except fast and pray and cry out to heaven, are we really doing anything at all? Or are we just sticking our heads in the sand and hoping that God will somehow, magically, make it all better?

Faced with real tragedy and suffering, prayer can seem like a terrible answer. It seems weak and insufficient and cowardly — I know. So am I. So are we ....

4 Comments:

Anonymous Richard said...

For me at best, prayer comes at those rare times when I am able to tune an agitated spirit to the immensity and wildness that seems to be the heart of God. Sometimes there is a sense of healing and relief. The irrational notion that somehow its all okay.

8:02 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

This makes me think of something I read in a William Barry book - he said real religion wasn't about being saved by God from the bad stuff - that the bad stuff would still happen but that it wouldn't really matter. That sounds nice, and maybe we can decide that's true for ourselves, but how can we decide that other people's suffering doesn't really matter?

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

Hi Crystal, I don't really know how to express it but I think suffering matters a lot. Sorrow, joy, our ordinary lives, all contribute to what it is to be human. Not that it is good but more like it is necessary. Part of how humans become more human. When I think about the scope of just the 4 billion yr natural history of the earth a lot went in to the development of me the being I experience best. It seems like there should be more to it than just the opportunity to suffer and die. May be its wishful thinking, but I don't like the idea that people suffer in vain. A clear violation of the first law of thermodynamics:) Anyway enough for a Friday, time to go home.

4:39 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

I feel conflicted about this. I want to believe like Julian of Norwich that everything's going to be ok in the end. But can anything make up for the bad stuff that happens? It's like the story of Job - "Oh dear, my children have just been crushed to death, but no worries, God's made me new ones to take their place - problem solved! :)" .... yikes!

9:33 PM  

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