It occasions some thoughts on my own harsh words for the debased ruin that is the GOP. Yesterday I remarked on the growing habit of turning prayer into hexes that is happening among Super Catholics. Then, last night, I went to prayer gathering at the local parish called “Dwelling Place”. It’s basically like walking into a big warm, candlelit place of pure love and mercy. Balm just to be there and sit in the Presence (the Eucharist was on the altar in a monstrance). It was a group of lovely charismatic Catholics, my wife among them, just praying and adoring Christ and offering prayer for anybody who sought it. There was gentle music and scripture readings and reading from St. Theresa of Avila and, now and then, somebody would offer a word of knowledge for this or that issue people were struggling with.
One was for folks who had suffered the pain of divorce. If you wanted, you could stand to indicate you wanted prayer. I felt prompted to do that, so I stood. Somebody (dunno who since they were behind me) came and quietly laid their hands on me and prayed.It occurred to me that I’ve been a participant in a divorce–the divorce between the Church’s teaching and the bizarre funhouse thing that is now American Conservative Catholicism. This thing that hates the pope and battles the Church on every right wing culture of death priority and makes ever excuse possible for a man like Donald Trump. And it’s not hard to see that I’ve been angry–sinfully angry–in response to it. I got to thinking about my own angry prayers. In my own mind, those prayers have always been directed to abstractions and ideas. It’s the GOP, not the people in it, the ideas, not the persons, that I have said I want smashed, and destroyed and ground to a powder.
But in that place, with all those sweet, good people just seeking the love of God for others, it was hard to listen to my own voice and think “Yessiree, that sure does sound like love.” It mostly sounded like me being angry.
So I guess I’m saying “Mea culpa” on the whole “prayer as sublimated anger” thing too. Please forgive me.