This week half the nation is in elation and half is in mourning. Both sides probably feel like the world has shifted on its axis. Some feel like a new dawn is breaking, others feel like the world is no longer as safe as it was just a few days ago. After the cantankerous depths to which the campaign season sank some people are just feeling depressed and angry. In spite of all of that, the diversity of feelings, reactions and visions of the future, we are still one country, one society, and one big community. As my Bishop said in his comments, “There is no us and them but only “we the people.” So we move forward.”
Many are praying. Interfaith Power and Light New Mexico reproduced a prayer written by Pope Francis in his encyclical, “On Care for our Common Home,” which reads,
Bring healing to our lives
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction…
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we journey toward your infinite light…
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.
Sister Pat Bergen, CSJ wrote this:
Healer of Our Every Ill,
Breathe in and among all of us who dwell in this land.
Soothe our wounds. Calm our fears.
Mend our divisions.
Hope of All Tomorrows,
Open our deaf ears and fill us with Compassion.
Tender our hearts.
Inspire creative ideas to address the cries of our sisters, brothers and Earth itself.
Send forth your Spirit of Love and Unity
Transform pointed fingers of blame into hands open in reverence to receive one another.
Fan into flame the gift of our founding
And let us be known again as a people
United for the goodness, justice and peace of all people forever. Amen
May years ago my father taught me a very important concept. He called it “the faithful opponent.” This is the one who opposes you, but does so out of a deep commitment to the community to which you both belong. He or she does so out of the depths of their own convictions, yet at the same time refuses to walk away from the table. They are faithful in the sense that their agenda is not domination but truth, not power but genuine community. Whether your prayer is on your knees or in action in the world, this is a time for courage. Now is the time to stand forth bravely on the side of community rather than isolation, unity rather than division, diversity rather than uniformity, love rather than ego. Now more than ever we must claim and articulate the truth of our unity.