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Thoughts and Prayers

A religion without mystery must be a religion without God.

Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667)

This is a single line from an earlier blog post about Jeremy Taylor, a cleric in the Church of England who achieved fame as an author during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell.

It is a sentence that I have thought about a great deal recently. I find it profound and profoundly comforting.

As a practicing Christian I have had a lifetime of self-doubt and at times self-loathing about my faith. When doubts creep in, my first reaction is concern that I am taking a first slippery step toward non-belief. Why is my faith not strong enough to block doubts and concerns? Why do I reach for more certainty on the virgin birth, the miracle stories, and the resurrection of Jesus? Is it impurity of heart? Is it intellectualism where faith should be enough? You get the idea.

As we grow older, this is no longer a far-off theoretical discussion, but of more immediate concern. As the funerals of good friends and older relatives begin to add up, we use idle hours to wonder about the Kingdom of Heaven and our own mortality. Objects in the rear-view mirror are not all that are nearer than they appear. Scary things through the windshield are also getting closer that we’d like to admit.

My awe of nature helps.

As we laid on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland listening to the waves and looking into a stary night, one of those friends who died too soon, said, “How can anyone doubt the existence of God?”

It was bolstered when I stood in the delivery room and looked into the faces of my daughters for the first time. It was again proven when I looked through the glass and saw my granddaughters in the hospital nursery.

Those are the moments that I have gone back to countless times in my life.

I went there when each of my parents died. It was a safe harbor when the dear daughter of wonderful friends was taken from us by a cruel cancer. I went there on 9/11 and when the toll from the pandemic continued to mount.

In recent days and weeks, I have tried to use it as a safe harbor for the mounting toll of gun violence in America. Every morning we click on the television or our streaming news sites to come face to face with the pure evil of bullets piercing the bodies of men, women, and children. Senseless killing at the hands of fellow citizens wielding weapons designed for the battlefield, not for our streets, has become the daily news this Spring. Churches, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, concert venues, and nightclubs, once thought to be places of respite and recreation have become killing fields.

Thoughts and prayers? Baltimore’s own Reverend Barry Black, Chaplain of the United States Senate recently said that they are no longer enough.

As we turn to God in this crisis, I feel the presence of God turning back to us. The God that gave us free will waits for us to act. Even the laws of science tell us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite and reaction. So, when are we going to act?

One of my favorite prayers is one attributed to St. Teresa of Avila:

Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassionately on this world.

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands.

Yours are the feet.

Yours are the eyes.

You are his body.

Christ has no body now but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassionately on this world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


So, where to begin?

1. Read My Five Rules of Advocacy Blog Post of April 30.

2. Do something in your community to help rectify this evil trend in America. If you agree with me, and the proven majority of Americans (Fox News Polling), read on and join in the fight.

3. Contact Everytown for Gun Safety ( and donate. Scroll their site and see how you might help.

4. Contact Mom’s Demand Action ( and donate. Again, check out their site and see where you might fit in.

After you act, don’t forget thoughts and prayers.


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