Sunday, February 19, 2012

From the La Salette Journey archives...

Jeanette Santiago, a friend of mine on Facebook, was gracious enough to send me an email with a prayer which Paul Harvey aired on his program many years ago.  I have written about this in the past but would like to share it again because it is most powerful:

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask

your forgiveness and to seek your direction and
guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those
who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we
have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it
the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it

We have killed our unborn and called it

We have shot abortionists and called it

We have neglected to discipline our
children and called it building self esteem....

We have abused power and called it

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions
and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and
pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values
of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts
today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.


Jeanette prefaced the prayer in her email with this commentary: "Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard...The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India , Africa and Korea...Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story" and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

Very true.  And so I would like to re-post something I wrote several years ago for this Blog shortly after Paul Harvey went to be with the Lord:
"I grew up listening to Paul Harvey on the radio. I always appreciated his genteel style and his dignified approach to the news and talk radio in general. I was really saddened when he died recently. His death represents more of a loss than I think most people realize. For Paul Harvey was the very epitome of civility. And our age is lacking in civility. This is why we have become so alienated from one another. So angry. So lacking in peace. We have exchanged a relationship with Christ Jesus and our neighbor for technological progress and material things.

Some years ago, Paul Harvey addressed this in a most beautiful way with a broadcast entitled "Dirt Roads":

'What’s mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt Roads have been paved.

There’s not a problem in America today, crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency that wouldn’t be remedied, if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give character.

People that live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride. That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it’s worth it, if at the end is home…a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.

We wouldn’t have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their exercise walking a Dirt Road with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along. There was less crime in our streets before they were paved. Criminals didn’t walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they’d be welcomed by five barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun. And there were no drive by shootings.

Our values were better when our roads were worse! People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous, they didn’t tailgate by riding the bumper or the guy in front would choke you with dust & bust your windshield with rocks. Dirt Roads taught patience.

Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly, you didn’t hop in your car for a quart of milk you walked to the barn for your milk. For your mail, you walked to the mail box. What if it rained and the Dirt Road got washed out? That was the best part, then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony rode on Daddy’s shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.

At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap. Most paved roads lead to trouble, Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole. At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn’t some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.

At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes would get stuck, you’d have to hitch up a team and pull them out. Usually you got a dollar…always you got a new friend…at the end of a Dirt Road!'

We have indeed created such a mess haven't we? Everything across our society is crumbling: The economy, government, our educational system, churches, families. But there is a way out from underneath our problems, a solution which has gone untried for so long:

“Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world . . . for she alone can save it.” (Our Lady—July 13, 1917)

“God has placed peace in her hands, and it is from the Immaculate Heart that men must ask it." (Jacinta—shortly before her death)

There you have it. Heaven's stimulus package for peace! Most, unfortunately, will scoff at such an idea. "Absurd" some will say. "Simplistic" still others will say. But I have seen up close the transforming power of the Holy Rosary and watched with amazement as those who prayed it with sincerity experienced changed lives. I have seen the Holy Rosary alter events with a supernatural power which must be experienced to be believed and appreciated.

We can return to simplicity of life and holiness. We don't have to be alienated from Christ Jesus and our neighbor. We can change the human heart through prayerful recitation of the Rosary. Why do we find this so difficult to accept? Mostly because we are too proud and believe too much in our own abilities.

The Rosary has the power not only to restore relationships and heal a broken world where neighbor is alienated from neighbor. It has the power to shape our will so that we may all the more easily abandon it to the Divine Will. I prayed so many Rosaries as my father was dying at St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester. I prayed day and night. Yes, my father still died. Yes, his passing filled me with sadness. But when Our Lady entered my father's hospital room to bring him back home, the peace I experienced was something words will never be able to convey.

Our roads may be paved now. But there is a way back to simplicity of life and holiness. It will only be by holding our Heavenly Mother's hand and walking with her that we will recover what we have lost: "for never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help or sought her intercession was left unaided." And that, as Paul Harvey would have said is "the rest of the story."

Related Paul Harvey on Prayer in America.

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