Earlier this month we had a Week of Prayer for Prisoners & their Dependents. The focus in our attachments strays around direct reflection on prison but also touches on forgiveness and on an inner freedom that we all strive to reach. As we pray for those in prison, we also think of their dependents and of victims of crime. Following events in the news in the last few months, let us also pray for anyone in prison who is innocent ie a miscarriage of justice and for those who are held as Prisoners of Conscience.
We can reach out to share our blessing with any or all of these people. It is Marty Haugen’s ‘Hand of God’.
Have a good week & with love
Stand in an open doorway, facing east,
the place of the rising sun,
the direction of hope.
Raise your arms.
Move them around in the doorway.
Feel the open space,
the lack of a barrier to your ability
to move freely.
Breathing in, receive the love
of your divine companion.
Accept the fresh vitality
of this enduring presence.
Breathing out, lovingly send this presence
as a gift of hope to all that exists.
Uncluttering the Heart
Inside each of us
there awaits a wonder
spirit of freedom
she waits to dance
in the rooms of our heart
that are closed
dark and cluttered
she waits to dance
in the corners
where we still
do not believe in our goodness
A few weeks ago, The Archbishop of York, told a story that had come out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A woman addressed Desmond Tutu to tell him of her son’s savage murder. The police officer who had ordered the brutal killing was present sitting shamefacedly listening to the details of what he and his colleagues had done. Then there were a few moments of quiet.
The Chair of the Commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, asked the woman if she had anything to say to the man who had killed her son. She responded, ‘I am very full of sorrow. So I am asking you now – come with me to the place where he died, pick up in your hands some of the dust of the place where his body lay, and feel in your world what it is to have lost so much. And then I will ask you one thing more. When you have felt my sadness, I want you to do this. I have so much love, and without my son, that love has nowhere to go. On turning to the policeman she said ‘So I am asking you from now on – you be my son, and I will love you in his place.’
Her action illustrates the extravagance of the Gospel. The Church at its best introduces a new dimension as it stands alongside victim and perpetrator. Restorative Justice from a Christian perspective recognises that the dividing line between good and evil cuts through every human being; that we are all sinners in need of grace. The emerging Church is learning new ways of doing justice by building communities where acceptance and reconciliation become second nature and ‘ Shalom’ is restored.
Prayers for Prisoners & for those who are the Victims of Crime
Lord, you offer freedom to all people. We pray for those in prison. Break the bonds of fear and isolation that exist. Support with your love prisoners and their families and friends, prison staff and all who care. Heal those who have been wounded by the actions of others, especially the victims of crime. Help us to forgive one another, to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly together with Christ in his strength and in his Spirit, now and every day. Amen.
Comforter Spirit, ease the distress and suffering of those whose lives are locked down because of crimes committed against them. Move through others to bring reassurance that they are not alone, physically or in the depths of their souls. Unlock doors that reveal a path of healing through hurt and injustice to a more peaceful place, where trust and confidence can be gradually restored. Amen.