The first thing I want you to do is pray.
Pray every way you know for everyone you know.
—I Timothy 2: 8

Just when you think things could not get worse, they did. Following months of a worsening pandemic, protests demanding the end of systemic racism, one climate catastrophe after another and an election filled with acrimony and false accusations many of us witnessed what we once believed to be impossible. On January 6, a riotous mob of American citizens breached the U.S. Capital in an attempt to thwart the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another. We have also been told that what happened on that fateful Wednesday was not the end. There are ongoing threats of violence at both the national, state and local levels.

Experiences like these can often leave us feeling paralyzed, not knowing what to do and wondering if anything we do can make any difference.

As followers of Jesus and daughters and sons of St. Angela we have only to look to them for our answer – PRAY – not as a last resort or because there is nothing else we can do. Prayer should always be our first and ongoing course of action.

My guess is that you are already praying. Thank you.

Those of us at the Angela Merici Center for Spirituality would like to invite you to join us as a community of prayer. Many of you may be familiar with the Roman Catholic prayer form of a Holy Hour. This usually takes the form of signing up for an hour of prayer in church that includes Eucharistic adoration. It is a time for grounding ourselves in God’s loving and merciful presence through meditation, reflection and prayer. We may not be able to gather for Holy Hour as we are accustomed to at this time, but if there was ever a need for prayer it is now.

Starting immediately, you are invited to sign up for a Holy Hour (or half hour or fifteen minutes, whatever works best for you) of prayer for our country and the world, for peace and healing. This time of prayer will take place in the safety of your own home. You choose the time and the form your prayer will take.

In turn, you will know that you are gathered with other women and men who have also committed to a Holy Hour of Prayer. Jesus taught that wherever two or three gather in his name that he would be right there and that God would hear their prayers. We may not be able to gather in person, but we most certainly can gather in heart and spirit.

To sign up, please respond to this email address, gschaeffer@ursulineslou.org, and let us know your name and what hour you have chosen. We will keep those who sign up posted as to the hours and numbers of people who have chosen each hour. If you choose, we will also send you a weekly email with support and ideas for ongoing prayer. If you feel so inclined, please share this invitation with others.

Even if you choose not to sign up, we hope that you know that there are many others who are joining you to pray that God’s kingdom will indeed come on earth as it is in heaven.

From my heart to yours, shalom,
Ginny Schaeffer
Director, Angela Merici Center for Spirituality
Louisville, Kentucky