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The horror of racism: the Spirit calls us to listen with hearts that beat with compassion

The horror of racism: the Spirit calls us to listen with hearts that beat with compassion

These past 12 days we, as many of you, have been overcome with sorrow at the death of George Floyd. In those eight minutes in which he couldn’t breathe, the ugly horror of racism that exists in our country was exposed for the world to see, for each of us to see. How heavy the burden of fear, pain and suffering our black brothers and sisters have borne and continue to carry!

In this country, where we are blessed with so much, we still have not learned that we are all equal in God’s eyes. Friends, may we ask that you join us in praying for George Floyd—for the eternal rest of his soul—for his family and all those who mourn his death, that God will strengthen and console them in this time of devastating loss and sorrow.

For all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, who are so courageously speaking up for justice for our African American brothers and sisters, we pray for safety, strength, and wisdom. And for every American, we pray for conversion of heart and compassion to effectively and boldly work together to end racism and heal the racial divide. 

Let us join together in interceding to the Holy Spirit, that at this pivotal moment all of us will unite together so that the human dignity of every African American brother and sister will be respected, and that every African American can live in the fullness of the freedom of the children of God. As Pope Francis said on Pentecost: “The Spirit loves us and knows everyone’s place in the grand scheme of things: for him, we are not bits of confetti blown around by the wind; rather we are irreplaceable fragments in his mosaic.”

We, like many of you, are trying to step back and comprehend this situation, while at the same time knowing that some of us have never experienced racism to this degree ourselves. The events of this week are leading us to search our own hearts in an attitude of openness for God to reveal to us the subtle ways in which we may have failed in the face of prejudice and injustice.

The Holy Spirit calls each of us today in new ways to listen with hearts that beat with compassion for the disenfranchised and vulnerable among us. We ask that you walk with us on this important and humble journey of honoring the stories of those of us who have borne the scourge of prejudice—stories that may be difficult to hear but that can transform our hearts and minds and help to bring about the end of racism. 


By watching the video of George Floyd’s death, we all stood by him in his agony. Let us turn to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who stood by her Son in his agony and, with incredible strength, knew that God’s love would not be undone by evil. 

Mary, Mother of Sorrows, pray for us. 

The Daughters of St Paul

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