Is the Holy Spirit speaking about the American election, using the still, small voice of the Divine Office? He is to me. On October 3, the day of the first “debate” between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, Evening Prayer included a psalm that seemed to address the debate’s subject matter directly. Today’s Evening Prayer includes a psalm-prayer and intercessions that speak to me about this evening’s presidential “debate.” Again, the Spirit seems to have something to say to both of the contenders.
The first selection from the psalter this evening is Psalm 137, which includes the verses “By the rivers of Babylon / there we sat and wept / remembering Zion / on the poplars that grew there / we hung our harps.” and “O how could we sing / the song of the Lord / on alien soil? / If I forget you, Jerusalem / let my right hand wither.” What I found remarkable is the psalm-prayer that follows:
Lord, remember your pilgrim Church. We sit weeping at the streams of Babylon. Do not let us be drawn into the current of the passing world, but free us from every evil and raise our thoughts to the heavenly Jerusalem.
Later, during the Intercessions, we find these petitions:
Direct our leaders according to your will and help them to keep us in peace.
You provided bread for the hungry crowd. Teach us to share our resources with the needy.
Do not direct world leaders to give attention only to the needs of their own nations, but give them, above all, a respect and a deep concern for all peoples.
The Spirit seems to be speaking. Are Mitt Romney and Barack Obama listening? Are we? Am I?