Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB has urged Catholics to pray for the state of the nation during Lent. The prayer he commends is not just the formulation of petitions, but prayer that takes citizens to a profound awareness and understanding of God’s Word.
“Prayer that opens our eyes to what surrounds us, prayer that prompts us to infuse the world with the mysteries of God’s Kingdom. To hear the Word of God and act on it,” the Bishop of Georgetown said in his Lenten message. The full text was published in diocesan weekly, Catholic Standard.
Bishop Alleyne added it was while at such prayer that the prophet Isaiah heard the call “whom shall I send?” and could respond “Here am I, send me” (Is 6:8).
“May that response be ours; may it be widespread as we lift our nation in prayer,” he said.
In his message, Bishop Alleyne said it was “encouraging” to see and be part of the Civil Society Forum (CSF) which has been brought together by Article 13 of the Constitution and a strong and genuine concern about the present state of uncertainty and lack of clarity on the elections date.
Article 13 of the Constitution speaks of establishing an inclusionary democracy by providing increasing opportunities for the participation of citizens, and their organisations, in the management of decision-making processes of the State, with particular emphasis on those areas of decision-making that directly affect their well-being.
To this end, Bishop Alleyne observed “the National Assembly, the Constitution, the Courts, the political parties…the ones we normally look to and depend on for clarity and stability have each said their piece and have each spoken from their respective places of responsibility and authority but still uncertainty prevails.”
Drawing reference to the People of Israel who found themselves in serious situations of uncertainty, the Bishop affirmed each time they dispelled the elements of threat as they turned to God to restore the certainties of identity, worth and relationship with Him and one another and elements of their being that they sometimes neglected.
Bishop Alleyne said if this “secular document” can describe and secure the status and responsibility of the people in shaping society, in a similar way, God’s Word calls on us to embrace a responsibility entrusted to all and to ensure that the certainty of each person’s dignity, rights and opportunities are protected and celebrated.