I awoke before dawn and was assaulted by the knowledge that today the President of the United States was coming to our little neck of the world. From the moment I heard about his little visit I had been torn, frustrated and angered.
Why here, why come to a high school in a remote southern section of Phoenix on the second day of class, when there is already sufficient confusion and anxiety.
This twenty minute visit serves what purpose? To what positive end, what benefit will this brief visit provide for a hurting nation? I know what this stopover will do for us locally: disrupt traffic, add apprehension to an already charged atmosphere on campus, cause additional delays by the heightened security, as well as an influx of strangers on site. What cost will this spectacle be to tax payers and a nation already in extreme debt?
Rather than feeling honored at this visit, I felt violated. Like Ananias, I wanted to say to God, “Lord I have heard from many sources about this man, what evil he has done…” How I wished and prayed that this day might be more about his conversion, like Saul’s. Imagine the real good that a man in his position, influenced by the Holy Spirit might make.
This is the school that all five of our children attended. This is where our kids were educated. This is where we spent countless hours watching volleyball games, marching band performances, tennis and badminton games. We met friends here, formed relationships, laughed and cried. We sat on the bleachers in sweltering heat for five graduations.
This man is my single biggest challenge in charity due to his assault on the unborn, his attack on religious freedom and his policies that continue to degrade and divide this great nation.
I began to weep as I prayed for answers. I picked up the greatest weapon I knew of, the Rosary. Tears cascaded down my cheeks and I let them soak into the olive wood beads.
“…deliver us from all evil.”
Lord, it is only so, because you allow it. Somehow all of these setbacks, tribulations, actions that seem to increase evil in the world and attachment to sin-you allow in your Divine providence. You have a plan. Never let me forget that. Your ways are greater and higher than my mind can understand. Help me trust in you. Let me feel your presence, and be an instrument for your work in the world.
“…lead all souls to heaven especially those most in need of your mercy.”
No one while living, is ever completely lost or without the need for prayers and mercy. Help me pray for the conversion of all sinners most of all myself. Let your mercy be upon us as we place our trust in you.
“…to thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this vale of tears…”
Mother Mary, you weep and intercede for all of your children. He is yours too; he is lost and is in need of conversion. We are all in this “exile” as we journey towards heaven. Help us turn to you in our mourning, in our pain, confusion and hopelessness. Lead us to your Son.
“…be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.”
We are not alone; we are not left to our own devices. All of heaven is fighting for us, interceding for us. There is a spiritual battle raging and there will be causalities. Pray that we will not be put to the test but knowing that if we are, you will give us the words, and the tools we need to fight.
As I concluded my prayers, I looked out the window and saw that a light rain was falling, a miracle in this dry desert. I wondered if heaven was weeping too at the state of humanity.
Perhaps there was a chance for a real storm after all, and maybe even some lightning too; the kind of light that comes from heaven and knocks people to the ground and they hear voices.