Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
I will tell you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, he is the one to fear. Luke 12: 4-5
The coronavirus has spread across the world like a flaming fire, destroying anyone and everyone in its deadly path. It has touched rich and poor, famous and unknown alike. As I write these words a friend of mine is in the hospital unconscious due to covid-19. I work in a nursing home where several people have died due to this virus. But there is an even deadlier disease that has spread throughout the world. One that doesn’t kill the body, but one that kills the soul. That is racism.
As the new millennium approaches, there remains another great challenge facing this community of St. Louis, east and west of the Mississippi, and not St. Louis alone, but the whole country: to put an end to every form of racism, a plague which your Bishops have called one of the most persistent and destructive evils of the nation.
JOHN PAUL II HOMILY St. Louis, January 27, 1999
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
On memorial day 2020 when we are supposed to be remembering the brave sacrifice our uniformed men and women gave to our country, we instead witnessed a spark of hate that has ignited an internal war. The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has helped bring a spotlight to this killer and has birthed a reaction to it. Protests and civil unrest have arisen in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas, Little Rock, Ark., Atlanta, Seattle, St. Paul, Minn., Miami, Charleston, W. Va., Columbia, S.C., Houston, Chicago, Trenton, N.J., Brockton Ma, just to name a few. And this spiritual unrest has also spread to Melbourne Australia, Beijing, and Paris.
You have groups of cops doing nothing to help their cause as they fire rubber bullets and tear gas at peaceful protesters and people sitting on their porches watching the police march down their streets. Arresting news reporters on live TV only makes you look like the monsters people paint you to be. On the other hand you have numerous looters doing what in their mind is avenging Mr. Floyd’s death by setting fire to local businesses, where probably many people in their communities’ work to support their families. One such person who had their business burnt to the ground was a black firefighter named KB Balla who had put his life savings into his new sports bar he had hoped to open as the Covid restrictions died down.
Protesters in Richmond Virginia in their zeal to set things right, set fire to a building and as firefighters raced to the scene they were blocked. Inside the burning home was a child. On the other hand, peaceful protesters blocking I-35W in Minneapolis had a tanker truck barrel down the road honking it’s horn and driving into the crowd at a pretty good speed.
You are beginning to see the pains of Hell upon earth in the hearts of mankind. This is all a result of sin and turning away from God… it isn’t about being black or white or any race, no matter what occupation, police or priest… we are either spreading Hell or Heaven. We must forgive, love our enemies and pray for them or else spread anger and hatred and make that rift run deeper. Turn away from sin, repent and turn towards God. There are only two fires we are ultimately destined for and I choose to aim for the Fire of the Love of God! –Fr. Scott Brossart
Racism is a form of hate. Hate spreads like a nasty virus. Racism and hate beget more racism and hate. And this murder of a unarmed black man has sparked much evil. But then again as in every terrible situation, the goodness of God in the hearts of believer and unbeliever alike shows up as the remedy and cure for this plague.
If you concentrate too much on the good you forget the evil. You concentrate too much on the evil you forget the good. Not all Police are warrior dirty harry cops. Some officers in various cities took to kneeling with the protesters to show solidarity with them.
Not all protesters are looting and causing havoc. A white police officer got separated from his squad and a group of black men formed a barrier around him to protect him. Here is love and good will on full display.
In Santa Monica, CA a looter tries to brake into a store only to be stopped by a protester holding an ‘End All Violence” Sign.
In the Twin Cities volunteers turned up by the hundreds to pick up trash and help businesses clean up.
In Chicago Looters broke into The Daughters of St. Paul Bookstore. The nun’s response:
“I hope all those wicked looters burn in hell”.
Okay. Just kidding.
What they really said.
Our Sisters in Chicago are all safe, but our bookcenter was broken into and looted last night during the riots.
Please pray for our Sisters. And pray for peace. Sister Bethany, fsp@SrBethanyFSP
In an article from Catholic News Association
“Today “there is a lot of fear, there is a lot of confusion” and “many conflicting messages,” Sister Tracey Matthia Dugas of the Daughters of St. Paul told CNA in an interview.
“How do you find your peace in the midst of all of that?” she asked, “and now what we’re dealing with is this question of violence and how do you deal with that?”
“All we can do is bring them Jesus and the Gospel, and His Word, and allow Him to speak to them. So what we’re trying to do is foster every person, every child of God, to know God as a good father who will provide,”
Catholic Leaders Speak
Other Catholic spiritual leaders have risen their voices. Minneapolis Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul did a silent walking protest to the spot George Floyd had died.
-Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley said..
Responding to George Floyd’s death reaches beyond one person to some of what it reminds us about in these larger realities of our nation. In responding to his death, some have used violence. I can understand the frustration but I must strongly oppose those methods. For any of us, the singular voice of Dr. Martin Luther King still rings true: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Bishop Barron of Word on Fire said….
The riots and unrest which are convulsing our country were prompted by the killing of George Floyd, to be sure, but their deeper cause is the racism—systemic and personal—that has bedeviled our society for over four hundred years. Though undoubted progress has been made in the course of these four centuries, there is still irrational hatred in the hearts of far too many in our country.
May I offer a challenge to all the members of the ekklesia today, Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox? Celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit this Pentecost, but then get out of the Upper Room! Light the fire of love in the streets, in the halls of government, in the world of communication, in business and industry, in schools, and in the hearts of your friends and neighbors. The stubborn survival of the awful cancer of racism in the body politic proves—and I say it to our shame—that we have not been the ekklesia that the Holy Spirit wants us to be.
Pentecost and the Fires in Our Cities (May 31, 2020) Word on Fire
And Pope Francis said…
“Today I join the Church of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and of all the United States, in praying for the rest of the soul of George Floyd and all the others who have lost their lives because of the sin of racism,“Let us pray for the comfort of families and friends who are heartbroken, and pray for national reconciliation and the peace we yearn for.”
Someone in a FB group I’m apart of had this to say.
With tensions running high right now in the US, I would like to let all US members here know that you are all in our prayers
I would also like to suggest we all pray the rosary today (and for others who can pray on other days as well) specifically about what is going on in the US right now (and quite possibly the whole world at some level or another).
For peace in the US in these trying times ❤️
For injustice in every form in particular for racial discrimination to be eradicated everywhere in the world but in particular in the US where protests are currently taking place ❤️
For the Holy Spirit and our Lady to touch our hearts both individually and leaders hearts to deal with this with wisdom, love, humility and service ❤️
For the Holy Catholic Church. That we may, as the representative institution established by our Lord Jesus to help lead in these special times of pandemics, injustice, poverty, etc., lead the rest of the world toward the redeeming light of God ❤️
For the re-consecration of the world to the Holy Trinity and to our mother Mary so that we may remember what we were created for and live in ways which are pleasing to God and honor Him ❤️
Here are a few prayer resources.
Aleteia has a good article up about Saints who Fought Racism.
For the millions who experience racism, it can be encouraging to get to know Saints who were also targets of abuse, disdain, and even murder because of their race; ugly as some of these stories are, they remind you that you are not alone. For those of us who are trying to walk in solidarity with people of color, the stories of the Saints invite us to work harder to fight against racism in the Church and in the world.
Meg Hunter-Kilmer Saints who Fought Racism (Jun 01, 2020) Aleteia
Love, Forgiveness, Justice, Peace and Prayer are the spiritual remedies to eradicate racism and hate. Pride makes one think himself or his tribe is better then another person or tribe. A sense of humility, respect and realizing were all the same before God can help rid one of such a false notion.
In the mists of all this violence and confusion, there are good people arising out of the ashes to spread light amongst the darkness.
Regarding the sad stories I mentioned earlier, KB Balla started a Go Fund me Page to regain the funds to build his restaurant back up again. As of this writing he has raised $1,089,030 of a $100,000 goal. A lot of people responded to the destruction of the bar with money for reconstruction. Somehow through perseverance the firefighters were eventually able to make it to the burning home and saved the child.
In Conclusion, Good people and good things always arise out of bad situations. Jesus dying on the cross is the supreme example of this.
Even today, human beings have no control over storms at sea and sometimes very little control over storms in the heart. Only God has the power to still the tempest without and tempests within.
Magnificat Prayer for the Evening Tuesday June 2nd.
Both the killing of George Loyd and the awful riots happening now (including one near me in La Mesa) reveal the same truth about our sinful nature:
We will hurt others to get what we want if we think there won’t be consequences for our actions.
Jesus, have mercy on us.
Trent Horn @Trent_Horn May 31