Many Christians and other people are open to praying for many things in life. When difficult circumstances arise, many people are open to having others offer prayers on their behalf. What is true is that prayer can be offered out loud for serious topics and events happening in our country and in the world. Not too many people are offended when such prayers are offered. Christians can pray for national leaders, important issues being debated and even issues that find people on opposite sides. I suppose it is good that “Church people do the praying.” It really does not hurt or offend too many people.
Now if the Christians desire to put prayer into action, which is the response to prayer, then some resistance can happen. When Christians seek to enter into the arena of working with real people and real issues, not everyone is understanding or even supportive. The resistance comes when some feel their side or opinion is not being supported by others, or that Christians really should not express their opinions or get involved in such messy issues. Even the misunderstanding of separation of Church and State is offered in a way that makes it seem Christians should just pray and let other people do the hard work.
My friends, what good is the Gospel of Jesus Christ if Christians do not engage in the world? Prayer without action and involvement in the world is a wasted act. You heard me. The Spirit calls us to be bold, courageous, wise, active and compassionate.
People who want Christians just to pray and do nothing do not know what it means to be Christian Disciples in Mission. St. Patrick and the Catholic Church will continue to enter the arena, wrestle with the issues and seek the common good.
Peace in Christ,