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Numbers mount; hurried burials mount; communities of grievers mount; undigested information mounts, whipped about in centrifuges with no-turn-off switches.

Like Covid-19’s free-for-all with death, darkness knows no surcease: its opaqueness nails shut crannies of light, known to have helped from previous sources. Alone, stripped of the familiar, making do with what we’ve got, we sink to our knees and wait.

Within this lull, however, comes a blessing, Urbi et Orbi, from a solitary figure, sickly, dressed in white. It is March 27th, night. Floodlights shadow the empty rain-swept Square of St. Peter’s, splayed out before him like an ancient amphitheater.

The photo of this blessing, live streamed by the Vatican, suggests exhaustion, depletion of vital energy, something akin to Ingmar Bergman’s surreal fantasy, The Seventh Seal set in medieval Sweden. Then and now, Catholicism’s fiery heart seems almost extinguished by God’s silence and the black plague devastating Europe.

More than ever, recourse to God through practicing the 12 Steps opens minds and hearts to ultimate truth and love, uncovered in our depths. Inherent within this discipline are Gospel principles that correct, affirm, and direct wayward spirits and help us accept our graced flawedness to enter the Kingdom of God. However, I still weep …

As Peter said to Jesus in John’s Gospel, “Lord to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life.”

 

 

Creator God of ever-expanding universes, be mindful of Planet Earth’s contagion that seeks new hosts to infect, new reversals to upend, new spirits to crush. Protect us from whoever or whatever foisted this ghoulish scourge upon us.

Continue deepening our willingness to contain its spread, whatever the cost. Continue humbling us before its enormity whose duration lies in the unknown. Continue prodding our conscious participation in each twenty-four hours. Continue helping us be mindful of others and their needs.

Our lives and livelihoods hang in the balance of this global upheaval, fraught with dark wisdom. From this crucible of suffering must emerge fresh paradigms for more meaningful care for each other and for Planet Earth.

Help us become aware of these patterns as they surface and practice them. We renew our trust in Your gift of Life: each moment, so precious.

Amen.

 

In heart-heaviness, we cry out:

Our Father—We seek the center-point of your stillness within our depths and silence clamoring instincts.

 who art in heaven—In faith, we engage our spirits within the realm of the Sacred and remember.

 Hallowed be your name— Palms outstretched, we prostrate ourselves before your inexplicable holiness and listen and wait.

Thy Kingdom come—We yearn for color-flushes/grace that alone eradicate global manipulation and gutting of psyches.

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven—We surrender anew to this empowerment: its multifaceted energy incorporates us within Creative Word in which all life hums in multiple expanding universes.

Give us this day our daily bread—We yearn for spiritual sustenance, one day at a time, which steadies tentative steps across rocky terrains, which embolden hearts to embrace the untried, the unspoken.

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us—We own our violence to ourselves and beg forgiveness. We also forgive others and repair rifts in the social fabric. Our part does matter.

And lead us not into temptation—We beg for discipline to listen for true guidance, often communicated in subtle whispers.

Deliver us from evil—We pray for discernment to unmask the allure of evil in its multiple disguises, especially in group-think.

For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, both now and forevermore—We thrive within this color-fresh vision, despite the cloying darkness and disease that still surround us. We have the protection—we have nothing to fear.

Amen—And so it is.

 

 

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