Sunday, May 5, 2013

Who To Pray For

To my on Tommy,

It is easy to pray or good people. Most of my prayers are for you and your mommy and our friends and family and loved ones. I pray that everyone remains healthy and safe. Anyone who knows the people I pray for knows that they deserve all the best. Good people deserve good things and deserve a good life that avoids tragic things. Though that scenario doesn't happen enough in the world, it plays to our sense of right and justice and karma when it does happen.

The rest of my prayers are usually for myself. I don't ask for things or success or such. I usually pray that I can get out of my own stupid way and find the strength and courage to be a good person at all times. But perhaps one of my prayers was answered because I realized to be a good person you may have to pray for unlikely candidates.

Bad people need prayers and will most likely benefit much more from a prayer. We are called to pray not only for those who are dear to you but also for those who you wouldn't give the time of day. You have to pray for those who wronged you. You have to pray for those you hate and those that are even repugnant to you. This includes quite the range of people, from the guy who cut you off during your commute, to the person who took advantage of you, to the person who stole money from you, to a person would rather see you dead and the feeling is mutual.

This is challenging to say the least, and it is the challenge that Mary constantly puts forward to us. Back in the Cold War days, Mary asked us to pray the rosary for the conversion of Russia, she asked us to pray for our mortal enemy. In today's age this might translate as prayers for people like Assad of Syria, a man who may have done one of the most repugnant acts of using chemical warfare against his own people as a topper to his long list of bad things he has done in his life. Or perhaps we have to pray for terrorist like the Boston marathon bomber or other extremist who want to blow up bunches of people. We have to get passed all the anger and pray for the worst people in the world. Sending out a prayer that they find some type of conversion does not condone their actions, nor align you with them, nor mean you can't be angry with them, nor mean you don't want them to do penance for their failings. A prayer for them is a prayer for a better world and a prayer for hope. So when you grow up and say prayer for those near and dear to you in your life, send out a prayer for those in the world that have so few praying for them but have the most need for prayers.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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