Prayers for the Kennedys

The Anchoress has an honest piece on how one goes about praying for someone--even if one is not initially inclined to. It’s no secret that for every Catholic fan of Senator Ted Kennedy (and I am an enormous admirer of this remarkable man, though I don’t agree with him on everything) there is another who is not. You can find her reflection, in the wake of the sad news of the lawmaker’s bout with a brain tumor here And a snip... .....I admit, while it was easy to feel compassion and sadness for Ted Kennedy’s children and his niece, Caroline, I was in a rather neutral place of helpless shrugs, myself. My first prayers for Kennedy were not all they could have been. I’m too aware of my own darker days to have wasted time determining whether or not he "deserved" prayers. We all do and we all need them from each other. But there was another part of me that thought of all the ways we Catholics have had to endure taunts because of the way Kennedy hijinks or scandals have commingled with the family’s public expressions of their faith, and boy...it got hard. Because when they hurt themselves and others, they hurt us, too. But then I thought - how awful it must be to live out all of your mistakes and sins in public - to go through life with people presuming to know the state of your mind and soul, when all of our minds and souls are sometimes quite mucked up? Some might say it takes a sort of arrogance to do that...but it might take a certain sort of humility, as well..... Does a person need to be perfect, or Simon-pure, to deserve prayers? If so, then none of us is worthy of them. James Martin, SJ
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