Thursday, June 24, 2010

of spills and moratoriums and enemies and prayer

Days without a post, and then two in one day!

There is oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.  It's been gushing for quite a few days - 65, I think at last count.  It was an accident that shouldn't have happened.  11 men lost their lives.  They shouldn't have.  There were safety issues on the rig that shouldn't have been ignored.  But it was an accident.  A preventable one, but an accident all the same.

Those who depend on the Gulf waters - those in the seafood industry - from fishermen to processors to restaurant workers and owners - are feeling the effects in a big way.  Tourism has also suffered.  Who wants to go to a mucky, gooky beach?  The damage to wildlife is heartbreaking.

But then our government goes and declares a 6 month moratorium on offfshore drilling!  So not only will the seafood and tourism industries be hurt, but the oilfield and everyone (like my dear hubby) who depends on the oilfield for their livelihood.  Literally tens of thousands of people affected directly or indirectly.  They are so, so clueless.  It's not as if everyone can afford to take a six month vacation.  And it's not as if the jobs will return in six months.  Oil companies will not let their rigs sit idle for that long while some Washington paper pusher does their thing; they will be moved to other locations.  Not to return for years.

And so one starts to wonder if it is stupidity and not knowing how these things work or vindictiveness that drives the decision.  One starts to feel as if the federal government wants to finish off Louisiana once and for all.   Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike gave it their best shots, and came up short.  But the federal government just might be able to pull it off and inflict massive amounts of pain.  BP is not the enemy.  More likely BO. Quite possibly fueled by greed and the opportunity to make money off of foreign oil while killing jobs and wrecking the economy here.  But no one cares.  Here, the attack feels very personal.

Immaculee, in her good-byes to us on Sunday, noted that the people in this area are suffering (even more true because the retreat was in New Orleans) and have suffered, and that she knows what suffering is.  God allows it, and that love can come from it. And we are called to love.   She said that she would pray for us, if we would pray for her. 

Today I went to Mass with my SIL and a friend of her and some friends of the friend.  We went to a local religious community.  THe chapel was at an old Catholic school.  Looked like it might have been a classroom.  Very simple.  Very traditional.  The priest faced away from the people during the Eucharistic prayer and there were snatches of Latin here and there.

The heavens opened while we were inside and we were deluged with rain.  We were headed to a restaurant for lunch and they finally decided we couldn't wait any longer, so we ran through the rain.  We looked like drowned rats.  Maybe it was appropriate for the solemnity of John the Baptist.  We looked baptized, all right.

Anyway (I'm getting to the point here) we were 5 women sitting around a table in a restaurant talking about spiritual matters.  One of the ladies mentioned that she volunteers at the monastery in town and as such talks to many people who have issues with enemies.  So much so that she had written a prayer about enemies, and before we parted ways for she gave SIL and I each a copy.  (She also gave us a beautiful picture of Jesus super-imposed on a monstrance - which was beautiful - I'll try to see if I can share it.)  I must say that there were many fervent prayers for the judge who ruled on the moratorium - for wisdom and common sense.  And without further ado....

Prayer for Enemies

Lord, you know our hearts where our foes are concerned.
We are filled with doubts about their motives and their actions, but at the same time we acknowledge that You alone know how to read souls and You alone are the judge of men.  
We come before You in humility, in repentance, and neediness. 
Left to ourselves, we can never exercise true charity; we will always fall short.
We can't see the whole picture; only You can do that.
The Holy Scriptures assure us that no purpose of Yours can ever be thwarted. 
No evil can ever defeat You or overthrow Your designs.
Help us to keep that in mind as we pray.
Help us to grow in trust that You can and will work all things for good, even the foulest and most despicable situations.
Help us to think twice when we express aversion toward others.
Help us to use those occasions to stop in our tracks, to redirect our thoughts, and to turn those negatives to  positives, believing that with You in the equation, the bitter can become sweet; the dark can become flooded with light; the sinister can fall prostrate before You in repentance; the most dismal situations can become infused with hope, the black storm clouds can reveal their silver linings.

Lord, we pray for our enemies. 
We unclench our fists and release all the energy we've expended in distrusting them to trusting You to take care of them in ways we never can.
To the best of our ability, we pray You bestow blessings on those we don't like, don't agree with, don't want to associate with.  
We ask You to bring us all, Your children, into the family You envision us to be, a family united in love and peace and joy.
In the words of St. Thomas More, "Make us saved souls in heaven together."
To God be the glory for the conversions of hearts that will ensue, both in ourselves and in our foes.

Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayer.

~ Bonnie Taylor Barry

To that end, our governor has declared Saturday a day of prayer for perseverance in the face of the oil spill.  It is the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  Appropriate.  

1 comment:

  1. That is appropriate! It's ridiculous how our country is being run into the ground, but I'm not going there! :D