It’s been a month since the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, not far from us here in North Carolina. It seems to me a good time to share the words that one national leader wrote right after the tragic events there:
Racism is a poison of the soul. It’s the ugly, original sin of our country, an illness that has never fully healed. Blending it with the Nazi salute, the relic of a regime that murdered millions, compounds the obscenity. Thus the wave of public anger……….about white nationalist events in Charlottesville this weekend is well warranted. We especially need to pray for those injured in the violence.
But we need more than pious public statements. If our anger today is just another mental virus displaced tomorrow by the next distraction or outrage we find in the media, nothing will change. Charlottesville matters. It’s a snapshot of our public unraveling into real hatreds brutally expressed; a collapse of restraint and mutual respect now taking place across the country. We need to keep the images of Charlottesville alive in our memories. If we want a different kind of country in the future, we need to start today with a conversion in our own hearts, and an insistence on the same in others. That may sound simple. But the history of our nation and its tortured attitudes toward race proves exactly the opposite.
The words above are the statement of Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.
Let us pray:
Jesus, this week we ask through your Holy Spirit for ongoing conversion in our own hearts so that racism and hatred of any other person or group of people has no place in us. We speak the same prayer over our entire nation, composed of a beautiful diversity of people of every race on the face of the earth. Help us as a parish community at St. Raphael to be, by your power and grace, a model of the unity in diversity only your love can bring.
In ongoing conversion with you,
Fr. Phil Hurley, SJ