Pray and work

December 3rd, 2015

"One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie."
Tolkien, "The Lord of the Rings"

We tell stories to try describe (and make sense of) the evil around us. 

The Dark Lord of Mordor and his ring...

The shroud of the Dark Side that limits even the ability of good people to see and clouds everything...

The way Voldemort uses terror in ways that force the response of those in authority such that they play into his plans and only increase the terror...

The menacingly egalitarian and colonialist Borg that force assimilation at all costs and despise difference...

The world seems dark these days. Maybe it's getting darker or maybe we are noticing the darkness more. I don't blame the media; they may stoke fires, but the fact remains that there was a fire there in the first place.

Some are saying that we should stop calling for prayer — that prayer is an excuse to do nothing. No. That's not right. Prayer is a request for God to do something and that something often means that God intervene in our hearts that we might act to combat the darkness. 

The Benedictines have a phrase: ora et labora — pray and work. Prayer and work are partners. They are not two separate actions for the people of faith.

We pray and we work for justice, for mercy, for peace, to uncover hope, to restore, to love God and neighbor and to be a resurrection people in the likeness of Christ.

So pray and work.

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