By Sister Julie Myers, OSF
Are you a regular follower of the Sylvania Franciscan Blog? If so, you may remember reading my post from September that focused on my preparations for the trip of a life time: a pilgrimage to the Franciscan places of Italy. Well, I did go on this breath-taking journey and returned home in early October. My intent was to write about the sights, sounds and good people I encountered, but the tragedy of our world has my heart and mind held captive.
I cannot comprehend how one human being can wreak such havoc and tragedy upon another human being. When one life is murdered and forever taken away, it not only traumatizes the person’s family but the loss of life throws our world off balance. We weep and we grieve….and we pray.
Like most, I have easy access to social media, which allows me to see the multitude of tweets and Facebook posts regarding the terrorist attack on Paris. Nearly 70 million people from around the world used social media to pray publicly and encourage others to pray. But one post from “Faithit” said it all. Faithit highlighted the Christian NFL player who tweeted about America’s double standard on prayer. Benjamin Watson wrote: “As a nation we have collectively prayed for Paris this week. Yet as a nation we suspend a football coach for praying after a game…we must choose.”
How is it there is such limited acceptance of daily prayer in our country… well, until tragedy happens, and then we beg people to pray aloud in the streets and on social media. Why is it I am expected to tolerate the offensive drugs, sex, injustice and murder that run rampant all around me, and am asked not to pray outside of the privacy of my sacred space—so not to offend someone who chooses to not believe in God? How have we arrived at such a low point in our lived history? How do we gain our voice and live the right to free speech—to pray where and when we want sharing the gospel message to a broken world?
Maybe if we lived this message of Jesus and worked at loving our neighbor as ourselves….then just maybe tragedy would not occur. There would not be room, nor tolerance, for it in our world. What if love and respect became our main tool, then there would be no one experiencing such desperation in their lives that they would even think to carry out evil.
Let us pray for one another, for our brothers and sisters and for our world—with courage and voice….ALOUD!