Dear Parish Family,
I recently came across a prayer by Fr. Austin Fleming that strikes me as a good one for all of us who need help allowing God alone to be the judge.
See if it speaks to you…
Heavenly Father, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night
is a single mother who worked nine
hours that day
and is rushing home to cook dinner,
help with homework,
do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us also to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man
who can’t make change correctly
at the grocery store
is a worried 19-year-old college student,
balancing his apprehension over final exams
with his fear of not getting his student loans for next year.
And please remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum,
begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!)
is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Oh Lord, help us to remember that the mature couple
walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles
and blocking our shopping progress
are savoring this moment,
knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week,
this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that,
of all the gifts you give us… the greatest gift is love.
It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear.
Open our hearts not to just those that are close to us, but to all humanity.
Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
We find peace by putting trust in God’s mercy. And we make our lives so much better when we don’t depend on God alone to be merciful, but choose to treat each other with mercy, too.