Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Out Loud Prayers

I think that worship services could be like a 5th step in the 12 step spiritual path of recovery.  How? In the 5th step you say out loud your faults, character defects, and shortcomings.  Embarrassing yes, but it does the job of “Recovery” from a messy, short-circuited life.  In a worship service, I think we need to go beyond simply saying out loud, “Mercy Lord!”  Mercy for what?  Say out loud, for others to hear, what you want mercy for.  It makes you reflect and list your shortcomings and say them so others will hear them.  “Mercy Lord for I am selfish, self-centered, jealous, envious, lustful, prejudiced, self-pitying, etc.”  We don’t want to do this, because we tend to put on our public face when going to public worship.  But we don’t change for the better any more than a drunk gets better if they skip the 5th step.  When I tell people in a homily, out loud, a shortcoming of mine, they may think me a bad priest and want me to go away.  I call it my 5th step way of preaching.  Or maybe I am really a bad priest?

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