Tag Archives: righteousness

A Prayer of St. Augustine

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.

snappy slogans don’t pay the bills

If the studies are correct, the Affordable Care Act is working. Repealing it and replacing it with the #BLOTUS backed bill would take away medical insurance for over 21,000,000 of our fellow citizens. Of course, it will mean even more profits for the wealthy. That makes it the right thing to do, right?

I’m with her

Thank you, Sally Yates for doing the right thing in the right way at the right time. All patriotic citizens of the United States owe you a debt of gratitude.

You took immediate action to uphold the traditional values of the United States. Your action in defiance of #BLOTUS was a true demonstration of faithfully defending equality and freedom. I applaud your strength of character, and commend you for defending the Constitution.

May we all be inspired by this courageous lady who has acted in the best tradition of our nation. And may we all follow her example in standing up against the unbridled bigotry and continuing attacks against our Constitution. United we stand.

why do you call me good?

Here’s a truism that needs to be repeated until we actually understand it. It’s a truth we should use to determine greatness.

Writing that, my first thoughts turn to our current Presidential campaign. How do the two candidates measure up as good people? Polls tell us they are the two most disliked Presidential candidates in the history of our nation.

One has a lifetime of public service and has a record for consistently standing up for, and fighting for the the least of these among us. The other is a self-serving, billionaire bigot, a racist whose public lying have made global headlines and whose attacks on women, POWs, immigrants, and those with disabilities have brought a new level of shame and disgrace to the American political scene.

Neither are perfect. That’s not the issue for me. Which of these two candidates qualifies as good? Which treats others with love, dignity and respect? The answer seems fairly clear to me.

active compassion

True success is far more than more power, prestige and money. True success must include significance. And to be significant we must live lives of active compassion. We must love others even as Christ has first loved us.

 

nourished on the blood of sinners

William Sloane Coffin, Jr. (1924–2006) was a clergyman and long-time peace activist. Ordained in the Presbyterian church, he later received ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ. He was an athlete, a talented pianist, a CIA agent, and later chaplain at Yale, where the influence of Reinhold Niebuhr’s social philosophy led him to become a leader in the civil rights and peace movements of the 1960s and 1970s. He went on to serve as Senior Minister at the Riverside Church in New York and President of SANE/Freeze (now Peace Action), the nation’s largest peace and justice group.

Coffin prominently opposed United States military interventions in conflicts such as Vietnam up to the Iraq War. He was also an ardent supporter of gay rights.

In his book, The Courage to Love he wrote:

The temptation to moralize is strong; it is emotionally satisfying to have enemies rather than problems, to seek out culprits rather than flaws in the system. God knows it is emotionally satisfying to be righteous with that righteousness that nourishes itself on the blood of sinners. But God also knows that what is emotionally satisfying can be spiritually devastating. 

Pointing a finger is far easier and far more emotionally satisfying than offering understanding and having the courage to search out the root causes of social ills. Many among us even blame the poor for their poverty rather than search for the flaws in system that perpetuates their poverty.

The growing number of poor and the hungry in our country are not our enemies. They are the living and suffering symptoms of a flawed and spiritually devastating economic system that we refuse to address.

With less self-righteousness and  more courage to love we might come to a place where we are willing to look at the system rather than just continue pointing our fingers. Until then, however, we just continue to be nourished on the blood of sinners.

 

fill us, Lord

Most merciful and gracious God, we pray today that our eyes might be fully opened to the suffering of our family around the world. Expand our horizons from our narrow circle of family and friends to include all of those created so perfectly in your image. Grant us the all-encompassing love of Your Son the Christ so that we might have open hearts as well as open eyes.

Fill us with compassion. Fill us with a passion for justice. Fill us with a true hunger for righteousness.

Make us get off our buts, and get off our assets, as well. And then grant us the strength and power of your Holy Spirit that we might prove ourselves good and faithful disciples as we reach out to those most in need. Amen

a small prayer for more love

Lord, you are a God of compassion and mercy. You are also a God of justice and righteousness. Help us understand that these always belong together. Help us to be unafraid to strive for your justice in a world where greed tramples need and power makes right. But in the midst of that striving, let us never forget that we are to love one another even as you love us. Help us understand afresh that love is an action verb, and that our love for those most in need is a true reflection of your presence in our hearts. Help us find ever more meaningful ways to walk with the poor and hungry that together we may all experience that love.  Amen