Penance is witnessing the incivility and hatred in our “civil” society. The language of intolerance on both sides of the political spectrum towards the other.
Penance is witnessing the death of civil discourse and the exchange of ideas and compromise.
Penance is witnessing Christians, including priests and religious, using obscene language, spewing hate and wishing harm on those with whom they disagree instead of following the command of Jesus, whom they are charged to proclaim…”But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father…for if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt 5:44-48)
Penance is being humble enough to pray that God’s will be done, “Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven” regardless of my personal opinion or feelings. To pray that God will inspire all our leaders on both sides of the aisle to gain the wisdom to deal with our crisis. to be humble and acknowledge what God has revealed.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts. (Is 55:8-9)
Penance is being humble enough to realize that Covid-19 is bigger than our president; bigger than the speaker of the house; bigger than our legislature, governors and mayors; bigger than me; bigger than you.
Penance is being humble enough to pray for the good of both our president and our speaker of the house.
Penance is witnessing the lack of a consistent ethic of life by both of our political parties.
Penance is being willing to put aside politics for the good of the nation.
Penance is being humble enough to take my hatred and hostility towards those with whom I disagree to the foot of the cross and give it to Jesus.
Penance is falling to our knees in humility before God and admitting that we have all screwed things up and beg for forgiveness.
Penance is acknowledging that God is bigger than this.