Modern, secular liberals do not generally like others to pray. In this they show themselves more believing than most Christians. For they (the secularists) know that prayers are dangerous.
Because they get answered.
This year’s “prayer for pilgrims” is dangerous also. In its own way. It asks for ‘dangerous things’.
What sort of dangerous things?
Take the first line after the refrain, addressing God the Lord:
“Take from me whatever keeps me from Thee.”
Of course, there is no danger — to oneself — to ask Our Lord Christ to take away one’s sins. He bears the brunt of danger in that case.
“Fair enough”, Our Sweet and Strong Lord might reply. “I’ve taken the likes of those before, some even worse. But what about that health of yours that you use to keep yourself from me? Unlike your sins, after all, it was I who gave it, so it is mine, no?”
“Or, what about your wealth? Or your job? What about the parish, is that keeping you in any way from me? Shall I take that instead, or also? Or your spouse, or children?”
“You did say ‘whatever’, recall.”
If it is already better for a man to enter heaven with one eye or leg instead of two that let you sin, would it not be better still to keep both eyes and both legs but to come alone?
“Or shall I take away even the Mass from you?” It seems, pardon the brusqueness with which it must sound, that Our Lord has taken the Mass away from much of the western world.
As unusual as it occurs, sometimes Our Lord even asks a pope to relinquish the power of the papacy.
How many are so humble as to answer “yes” to that?
Let us remember always to pray as the Only-Begotten Son of God taught us, in humility.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, … forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. …”
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
That is a prayer that should be always on one’s lips and in the heart of one who lives dangerously: in sin.
(To be continued.)