A PRAYER FOR RACIAL JUSTICE from Pax Christi

Dear God, in our efforts to dismantle racism, we understand that we struggle not merely against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities — those institutions and systems that keep racism alive by perpetuating the lie that some members of the family are inferior and others superior.

Create in us a new mind and heart that will enable us to see brothers and sisters in the faces of those divided by racial categories.

Give us the grace and strength to rid ourselves of racial stereotypes that oppress some of us while providing entitlements to others.

Help us to create a Church and nation that embraces the hopes and fears of oppressed People of Color where we live, as well as those around the world.                                                                                  Heal your family God, and make us one with you,                                                                                                   in union with our brother Jesus, and empowered by your Holy Spirit. Amen.
(Pax Christi Prayer for racial justice-2020)

Contemplation and Racism – Am I Next? Sunday, June 7, 2020

During this time of social unrest, I invite you to sit with the powerful and uncomfortable emotions, such as anger or grief, that you may be carrying. Welcome them in the presence of God. As I often say, if we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it. Tragically, we are witnessing the results of centuries of unresolved racial violence in our collective body today.

 As a white man in the United States, I humbly begin this week’s meditations on “Contemplation and Racism” by sharing the words of a woman of color in our own CAC community. Leslye Colvin is one of our Living School students and a member of our Daily Meditations team. In our time of ongoing disorder, Leslye asks, “Am I Next”?

 Lord, have mercy.

George Floyd of Minnesota.

Your nation failed you.

Rest in God’s peace.  Kyrie eleison.

Christ, have mercy.

Breonna Taylor of Kentucky.

Your nation failed you.

Rest in God’s peace.  Christe eleison.

Lord, have mercy.

Ahmaud Arbery of Georgia.

Your nation failed you.

Rest in God’s peace.   Kyrie eleison.

Christ, have mercy.

Tony McDade of Florida.

Your nation failed you.

Rest in God’s peace.  Christe eleison.

 Four people whom I never knew have been murdered. It is merely the tip of an iceberg. The details of each heinous act are so horrifically unjust that there is no sense to be made of them. Each of the four was victimized. Each of them was Black, but their race was not the cause of death. Each was murdered because of the systemic structures that endow white people with an unimaginable authority and privilege based on the perpetuation of lies. The onus is not on the victims but on the perpetrators and their oppressive and unjust systems.

There is also a realization that it could have been me. I could be laying cold and lifeless in the morgue because of a distorted perception of me rooted in lies. Maybe it will be me the next time—not because of who I am, but because of how you see me in relation to how you see yourself. What lies about me do you believe? What lies about yourself do you believe?  Fr. Richard Rohr