This has been a gut-wrenching week. I have experienced disappointment and heartache at every turn. I am numb with grief for our friends who lost their son to a drug overdose. I am saddened by the realization that a co-worker seems to be losing his battle with cancer. I am frightened by the senseless violence in our streets: another day, another homicide. It feels overwhelming and I feel hopeless and helpless. So much sadness. So much despair.
I am often reminded that when all else fails we should pray. But I’m almost too angry to pray right now. I want some answers! Why? Why does this happen? How could this happen? When will it stop? God you owe me some answers. I want promises; not platitudes. I want understanding; not condemnations. I want action; not plans.
My prayers seem empty as my thoughts are clouded with lost lives; lost hope; lost faith; lost dreams. And yet I pray (or try to) for promise; for understanding; for action. I have found comfort in the words of Saint Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
In my hopelessness and helplessness I ask God to make me a channel of peace. Let me bring reconciliation to those I encounter and give me the grace to let go of my anger and disappointment. Then perhaps I can help others begin to heal.