Dear ACTS sisters and brothers:
Clearly, the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have been deeply affected by the suffering in Ferguson. And, if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that regardless of where we live or work, their suffering is also ours. We are not islands, and the pain of our fellow human beings deeply concerns us. Indeed, we feel it too.
As Archbishop Carlson so truthfully wrote last week, “The status quo was not good enough…now is our moment of truth…We can let the anger and frustration spill over in violence… or we can take the opportunity to break the cycle and address the underlying issues that cause the anger and frustration.”
In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke tells us that the early Christians were “on fire” with the Holy Spirit, but this did not prevent them from having some very serious occasions of fear, anger, frustration and resentments. They overcame these challenges by supporting one another through perseverance, forbearance and constant prayer. They helped one another follow the two greatest commandments – to love God completely and to love our neighbors as ourselves. And that same challenge is ours today just as much as it was the early Christians’.
Let us always be very aware that we are each members of the Body of Christ. And may everything we say and do, especially in regard to our city’s racial struggles, be only words and actions that Jesus himself would utter and do.
The words of the Peace Prayer are particularly appropriate these days. We ask that you include it among your daily prayers during the next few weeks.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
ACTS Missions, St. Louis Chapter
Carole Bernsen Dave Mason
Steve Brokaw Steve (Rothy) Rothermel
Penny Hartley Tony Tallo
Mariann Wedel Aurelia Weil