Holder Hospitalized: “Lord, the one you Love is Sick…”

Attorney General Eric Holder has been hospitalized with symptoms of what could be a heart attack, or a panic attack.

Stress is a killer and the whole nation is under stress right now, and that’s a thought I may consider and flesh out later, but for now, let’s whisper up a prayer for his good.

I know, it’s not always easy to pray for someone toward whom you may not have warm feelings, but we are called to it, and a good way to enter into any prayer with humility is through scripture.

“Lord, the one you love is sick…” (John 11:3)
“If you want to, you can heal him…” (Matt 8:2)
“Son of David, have mercy on him…” (Mark 10:47)

In one of those weird synchronicities that happen sometimes, I learned of Holder’s situation right after reading this piece at OSV, which is all about praying for those we don’t particularly like, and whom we might even call “enemies” if we’re inclined to use the word:

I had turned the notion of enemies into the equivalent of a benign spot on a spiritual X-ray: nothing to worry about, no threat to the soul.

That was incorrect. The evidence before my eyes — demonstrated in the dark, tense expression of my co-worker and her brutish tone — hit me like a swift punch to the solar plexus; with breathtaking clarity I understood that to entertain the concept of “having an enemy” was to give it room to grow. No benign practice, this was instead a path to spiritual malignancy — a true cancer that could kill the soul.

Jesus did indeed recognize that there are such things as enemies — and we are not meant to wander through our lives reckless and unaware of that which can threaten us or do us harm, and certainly should not turn a blind eye to evil, which is the true enemy — but his command that we love those we perceive to be our enemies is actually a tool for discernment and for our own salvation. To love our enemies means a great deal more than to simply not wish evil upon them; it means making a conscious effort to find a path to our own mercy, for their sake and our own. That path is found, Jesus tells us, through prayer: “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44).

So, there’s that. You can read it all, here.

A priest I know has said that the best prayer we can offer for anyone, in any circumstance, is for their salvation, because everything follows and flows from that.

There are lots of ways to enter into prayer for persons you think you can’t pray for, and using them is good for one’s own soul.

Remember what Dorothy Day said: ‘I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.”

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  • DeLynn_D

    I love that you wrote this. I prayed for Eric Holder today and for all those who love him.

  • oregon nurse

    Praying for someone’s salvation may be the only prayer we can bring ourselves offer sometimes. Just make sure it doesn’t go something like: I thank you God I’m not a sinner like (him) Lk 18:11. :-)

    Seriously, I will pray for his recovery too.

  • Win Nelson

    Adding him to my prayers.

  • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

    Let us pray for his healing and for his resignation from office.

  • Sue

    Thank you Anchoress for this post. Prayers offerred for the Attorney General and his family.

  • Greg Cook

    Well, if he isn’t the enemy then I don’t know who is: he speaks insultingly about race, helps the president get around the constitution, and advises AGs to not uphold the laws they swore to protect and defend. So I’ll pray for him.

  • Adam Frey

    Why not pray for his conversion while he is in office? If you view him as an enemy, then you set your sights too low.

  • Adam Frey

    All this hatred of late reminds me of the prophet Nahum. Show of hands–who’s read Nahum? It’s one of the shortest books in the Old Testament…maybe *the* shortest (though he could be tied with Malachi…I’d have to check). It’s a real “fire and brimstone” book. Nahum was living around the fall of Ninevah–a real nasty city, that was, having tried to destroy Jerusalem–and Nahum gleefully awaited his demise. Seriously, read it. There’s a hefty tone of this prophet rubbing his hands together in anticipation of Jerusalem’s enemy about to suffer God’s wrath.

    Then you pause and realize he’s enjoying it too much. Really, Nahum is the flip of Jesus’ “love your enemies” philosophy. He wants to see those people burn and bring marshmallows to the fire.

    My Biblical course once had us reflect on this open-ended question: why do you think the book of Nahum is in the Bible? I couldn’t find a definitive answer beyond “it’s always been in there.” My best guess was that while it does have some truthful statements about God’s justice, it also holds up an ugly mirror to our human nature and forces us to reflect on whether we’re more of a Jesus or a Nahum.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I think I heard on the radio it was not a heart attack. Nonetheless my prayers for mr. Holder.

  • rod mason

    I don’t always agree with the “Anchoress,” but, much as I’d like to dismiss the prayer invitation for a person who I feel is really an enemy of this country, I think she may be on to something here. For, in reality, anyone can change, and if they do, that means that someone somewhere was PRAYING for them. Or a group was. So, I’m signing on to this request in hopes, among other things, someone somewhere will maybe do the same for me when I’m most in need of prayer. And when, in this demonic age, are we NOT in need of prayer? It’s increasingly becoming a constant thing in this amoral age. For, as has been said many times, and will be said many more times before all of this is over, the devil is a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Good on you, Lizzy, good on you.

  • @FMShyanguya

    (Prayer for friends of the left):LORD, mercy and forgiveness for them, justice for me …

  • Jerry Rhino

    My sister, Ramona, offers the pain coming from others, for their spiritual benefit. I offer prayers for the 10 people in purgatory I like the most, and for the 5 I like the least. God loves everyone, no matter what they did. Offer your prayers for their spiritual well being. Thanks, Elizabeth, for your article.

  • joxxer

    My prayer is that he resigns so he can take care of his health.

  • Thomas Gallagher

    No, Mr. Cook, we pray for him because he’s sick. (Why have four people given a thumb’s up to this seemingly bitter posting?)

  • Fr. Jay Finelli

    Didn’t know he was sick until I read your post. Will definitely pray for him. I just hope he gets good care, you know, with Obama Care and all.