Thursday, April 29, 2010

Opening Closed Hearts

From A Living Faith Meditation

Yesterday's meditation in Living Faith was as pertinent to me as the one from the night before, and My Dear Wife did an I told you so after we read it, not really, but in spirit, I know.

The scripture verse for the meditation was Psalm 67 Verse 5: "The nations on the earth you guide."

The meditation, written by Sr. Joyce Rupp O.S.M., a gifted writer goes as follows:
If the nations are guided by the Holy One, why is there such fierce hatred, unending violence and brutal war in many countries? Psalm 67 proclaims that God guides political leaders, but how many of them really listen to this voice of guidance?

During one of  my spiritual direction sessions, I fumed on and on about the man who was the current president of our country.  My spiritual director listened attentively to all I said.  At the end of our session, she reached over and took a tiny heart from the top of a small table.  She then proceeded to give the heart to me and suggested that I pray for the president.  This was the last thing I wanted to do - pray for someone whose leadership seemed beyond repair.  Yet her suggestion was the best advice she could have given me.  God is ready to guide, but we must open our closed hearts and pray that these leaders heed the divine advice given to them.
I confess to having similar feelings about leadership in many of our places in society, the US President, the Canadian Prime Minister, our Bishops and Cardinals in our Church, and elected officials locally and provincially.

But, I have been being drawn to lift them up to the Lord for some time now.  However, I have not been so quick to obey this burden of my heart.

It bothers me to see people trashing the Catholic Church over a sexual abuse scandal that is old news.  I do not think anything can be gained by beating on the Pontiff and Church leaders now, and picking at the Church in general.  Much has been done already, and this will result in more cleansing of the Church from top to bottom.

As well, out political leaders are constantly being beleaguered to do what it politically correct, not what is correct in the eyes of God.

I had concluded that I did not want to waste any more of my energy on this sexual abuse scandal in the Church, and have been praying for the needs of Pope Benedict for a while now, but he is not the only leader that should be in our prayers.

Here is a simple prayer we can pray for all of the leaders, whose exercise of their responsibilities impacts our day to day lives:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I trust in your love for our political and Church leaders.
I suggest that we pray this prayer 10 times followed by the following short prayer:
Sacred Heart of Jesus, fill me with your blood.
I then suggest that we pray this 10 + 1 prayers, 3 times in succession.

Our leaders may not be leading to our satisfaction, but they may be doing exactly what God wants of them, at any particular moment.  By having a critical attitude towards them, we are hindering their ability to hear the voice of God.  If we lift them up instead, we might just find that God is able to reach them, and we might also be able to recognize their godly behaviour, and encourage more of it through prayer.

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