Prayer: The 3rd Leg of Justice
July 20, 2022
We often talk about the Two Feet of Love: Charity and Justice. I love the symbolism of the two feet. I tend to think of Justice work as a stool with 3 legs: Charity, Justice, and Prayer. The First leg– Charity is responsible for addressing the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. The Second leg– Justice is responsible for creating change in society so that situations that create a need for charity are addressed. But a stool with two legs can’t be used. We need that Third leg– Prayer. Prayer gives us the hope and courage to carry out Charity and Justice.
One of the things I lost during COVID was the feeling of being connected to others of like values. I began to think there were fewer people “out there” who believed in taking care of their neighbor because all I could see on the TV and news was “me” or “individual needs”. It seemed like everyone was just focused on themselves and what was best for them.
One of the benefits I have found in doing the Let US Dream discussion and prayer series is meeting and hearing others talk about looking out for the needs of others and the environment. They may say it differently than me or focus on a different part that makes me think deeper and see things more clearly, but the big picture about justice is the same. These discussions have given me hope-there are others who care and can talk about justice in ways that make me think I should/could/can do something.
You may have noticed we have started two prayers during Mass recently– The Prayer for Justice and the Prayer for Ukraine. There is power in prayers said when we gather as a community of believers at Mass and there is also power in solo prayers.
The Prayer for Justice is being said after Petitions. In one voice we are praying for Justice to underscore how important Justice is to those who attend All Saints. It is part of our vision statement: We are called to be a faith filled family, who acts justly, lives tenderly, forgives freely and walks humbly with our God. Many of us come to All Saints and others stay due to Fr. Jay and Fr. Steve’s homilies, encouragement to act justly, and become involved in justice and charity activities in our community and the larger world.
We are praying in unison the Prayer for Ukraine at the end of Communion to lift up those caught in the cross hairs of war in Ukraine and to pray for the end of violence and just peace for Ukraine.
Pope Francis reminds us that the Lord gave us a charge to act justly, to take care of others and the environment. He suggests we need to seek fraternity or connections with others of faith so we can act in solidarity with those on the edges and find new ways to solve larger problems that affect us all.
He believes faith is best lived out with others and that connection can happen in many ways. One way is at Mass “when we are connected, forming one body, one spirit in Christ” as we participate together, hear the prayers, and add our own thoughts and prayers. Also, when our prayers are uttered alone, in our homes, at our tables and in our beds, they link us to God and to each other. Many think I’m too old, too tired, too frail, too ill or don’t have the time due too many responsibilities to do acts of justice anymore. But each of us has the capacity to pray and prayer can also be an act of justice.
Think of the power of All Saints to affect justice when we have hundreds of congregational prayers and individual prayers going out into the world every month, week, every day for a just community that looks after the world the Lord gave us.
Several weeks age, those at Mass had the opportunity to take home a prayer card of The Prayer for Ukraine if you didn’t get one there are more available. We are also distributing the Prayer for Justice. There are two sizes: regular and a larger size for those with visual difficulties. Contact Brenda Meyer firstname.lastname@example.org or the office if you need either Prayer Card.