Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Ramadan 2003: Day #23

Day 23: Tuesday, November 18, 2003
I received two prayers yesterday. This morning I received another, via email, from a cousin on the West Coast. She has been the center of family activities the last few months—being the online connection for postings from my Grandmother’s Memorial, and then the sudden passing away of two other relatives.
In the tumult, which subsided as news like that tends to do after awhile, I suddenly remembered that she recently celebrated her engagement and wedding shower—and like others in my life, I eagerly anticipate her wedding this upcoming summer in Toronto—my childhood home away from home.

The closing of the online prayer asked to simply say a prayer for the person who sent the email. And I was happy to recall that piece of forgotten hope and promise amidst the litany of other memories.

On arriving at work, I received an email thanking me for a prayer I had sent out earlier in Ramadan. I also opened a package from Maryknoll, who was sending out their Advent Reflections: Hoping, Seeking and Demanding Justice. Tonight, at the Center, we have invited some area parishes to discuss a new program and to also join in a Pre-Advent Reflection.

So this prayer may be on one hand too early for a season not yet upon us, but not too early for the conditions in which we live:

Prayer in a Desperate Advent
O May all hearts be broken
with stories of squalor
and horrors of war.

O May all be haunted
by the screams of the
tortured and the faint
whimpering of a hungry
child dying.

O May Madonna images
from Africa, Iraq
inner-cities everywhere
burn deep
PĂ­eta embraces of unnecessarily broken bodies
pierce our comfort

O Dear Compassion
May a path be made ready.

Through the desperate wails and gnashing of teeth
O May Justice be birthed.

O Dear God.

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