Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Let Us Pray...

In 28 days, church -- well, Stateside church -- we face the Ballot Box... and the Canadians'll be there a week from today.

On this side of the 49th, though, as the presidential hustings get more visceral by the second and tonight's second debate approaches, it seems a useful moment to re-air the prayer from the national Novena for Faithful Citizenship, now on its fifth Tuesday:
Immaculate Heart of Mary,
help us to conquer the menace of evil,
which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today,
and whose immeasurable effects
already weigh down upon our modern world
and seem to block the paths toward the future.

From famine and war, deliver us.
From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.
From sins against human life from its very beginning, deliver us.
From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.
From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.
From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.
From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.
From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ,
this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings,
laden with the sufferings of whole societies.
Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit conquer all sin:
individual sin and the “sin of the world,”
sin in all its manifestations.
Let there be revealed once more in the history of the world
the infinite saving power of the redemption:
the power of merciful love.
May it put a stop to evil.
May it transform consciences.
May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of hope.

...and with the economy dominating the conversation, it might be worthwhile to revisit the bench's famous 1986 pastoral on the topic.

PHOTO: AP/Brennan Linsley