Saturday, April 4, 2020

Overheard at Booth 2: A Prayer for Forgiveness in the Time of Corona

A Prayer for Forgiveness in the Time of Corona

Forgive us, Lord,
for our concupiscence,
for our arrogance,
for our haughtiness,

for our blindness.

Forgive us, Lord,
for not preparing for this day,
for pretending that
the problem could be left
to our children to solve.

Forgive us our iniquities,
for the hardness of our hearts,
forgive us our racism, our xenophobia,
our willingness to blame others
for a virus that sprang from the world
You created
and which we have abused.

Forgive us our vain thoughts:
thoughts that one group created this
to kill another group, without evidence,
thoughts that one race, one country,
one government,
created the virus to kill another race,
country, government, without evidence.

Forgive us our insatiable delight
at following conspiracy theories.

All is vanity.  Vanity.

Forgive us for coughing on Asians,
Forgive us for coughing on Jews
Forgive us for coughing on cops,
Forgive us for coughing on Latinos,
Forgive us for not covering our coughs,

Forgive us for not loving each other
the way we love ourselves.

Forgive us for not loving you
above our own self-love.

Forgive us for spitting on others, Lord,
for what we do to the least of us,
we do to You.

Forgive us, Lord, for believing
more in ourselves than we
ever did in You.
Forgive us for choosing religion
over faith,
and for choosing ourselves
over others.

Forgive us for not looking to the
mountains for where our help comes from,
and for not keeping our minds
on those things of beauty
and of good report.
Forgive us for allowing ourselves
to be carried away like spoils
by our philosophies and our vain deceit.

Forgive us for not ever asking
where were we
when You spoke the universe into existence.
Where were we
when you formed the particles of every atom
of every world?
Where were we
when you lit the spark of innumerable
suns and stars?
Where were we
when you walked with ancient
fauna through ancient flora
of the world which we
now only inhabit
and which we have destroyed
in much the same way that
this virus now destroys our bodies?

And so, for this, Lord,
I do thank You
for this time.
I thank You for this
pause in our endless, ceaseless vanity
of running about, bowing to Mammon.
I thank You
for bringing us into our homes,
our closets, for prayer to You,
instead of our vain repetitions of
our public mantras to wealth,
pretending they are to You,
as though we are nothing more than some
modern Balaam.

Thank You for these moments,
and I pray that our prayers
now center on You
more than ourselves,
and that our hands help others
as much as they help ourselves,
and thank You
for loving us so much,
that You gave us Your example,
Your son, to die for us, and
Your spirit, to dwell in us,
so that we may have a peace
in this world
that passes all our understanding,
and a life in eternity with You
that surpasses all joy.

Thank You, Lord.

In the holy name of Jesus Christ, I pray.

and Amen.


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