Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them…Luke 5:35
Like many other Americans Friday I waited and I wondered and I prayed. I tried to decide if I should write about the Gosnell horrors and the Boston bombing…I left it up to Him. Friday evening before I shut down my computer for the day, I found His answer and some perfect words. The following is a facebook post from a sweet, faithful and lovely new friend, Noelle Garcia. She has given me permission to borrow her words so your heart can be lifted and touched just like mine was. She wrote late Friday
night, “I remember reading in one of the Immaculee Ilibagiza books that she
struggled to pray the Our Father while she was in hiding during the Rwandan genocide. One reason was because of the word, “our”. “Our Father”, how could He be the Father of evil people AND good people?
I reflect on that now…Our Father. The Father of Gosnell. The Father of the Boston Bombers. My Father. Maybe if they had known God as a loving Father…Gosnell wouldn’t have destroyed mothers and children and the bombing suspects wouldn’t have believed God would want this. But then we do use God to justify our evils sometimes don’t we? Our Father. Your Father. My friend’s Father. My enemy’s Father. My Father.”
Noelle’s words tied in with a discussion I had with my little lovelies earlier that same day. It amazes me what children know. As usual, they had questions and I asked the Holy Spirit to help me put things in their terms. In their minds and hearts it really all boiled down to people who didn’t know Jesus and His powerful love. I shared the above words from Luke’s Gospel about loving our enemies and we decided the best way we could do that was to pray for them. One was brilliant enough to know if we prayed for "bad guys" more often, maybe some of them would love Jesus and stop being a "bad guy" before they hurt somebody. At the suggestion of another little lovely, we stopped the discussion and prayed a decade of the rosary for enemies and bad guys. "And they will be led by a child" was a scripture that came to mind.
Weeks like this bring forth all sorts of discussions and thoughts. I loved the old clips of Mr. Rogers everywhere this week saying that when he was young and saw scary things his mother would remind him to look at all the helpers. She encouraged him to focus on the good being done by so many people rather than the bad being done by a few. I also love the image floating around of the FBI agent in full bullet proof gear delivering two gallons of milk to an out of milk family of toddlers during the lock-down on Friday. I heard a discussion while waiting in line at the grocery store.
One lady wisely said that the evil in this world is a sliver and the good in this world is most of the pie. I liked that image! I am a perpetual “Pollyanna” but I’d like to think bad situations often bring out the best in humanity. I’d like to
remember that God is the Father of us all and I NEED to remember His promise in John’s Gospel, “You will have trouble.” Not, you might or it’s possible, but YOU WILL! We’ve had a belly full of it this past week and hopefully it’s dropped us to our knees in prayer; prayer for the victims, the survivors, the families, the helpers, and the enemies. Prayers for them ALL because God is the Father of us ALL and in times like these we ALL need Him more than ever. Call on His name and be loved, comforted, protected and blessed!
A Seed To Plant: Pray for an enemy today. For extra credit, read one of Imaculee Ilibagiza’s books. Left To Tell is a good one to begin with. If you’ve read that one, try The Boy who met Jesus. Last Monday’s seed to plant was to tend your mustard seed…here’s an excellent way to do that!
Blessings on your day!
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Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com