19th Century, Art, authors, Culture, History, Intercession, Minnesota

Emerson Speaks 1867

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1867
“Ralph Waldo Emerson braves sub-zero weather in an open sleigh to lecture in Winona. The poet and essayist–known to many as “the wisest American”–gives four other speeches in Minnesota before returning to Massachusetts.” *

“Mr. Emerson leaves to the world no system of philosophy, no orderly presentation of new or great truths; but he has done a a great and usually salutary work by stimulating the thought of two generations and by helping courageously to clear away the intellectual rubbish which the centuries had gathered. . . He has done the needed work of the iconoclast in so kindly and decorous a way as to hurt as little as possible the enduring good.” ** Minneapolis Tribune April 28, 1882

Lord, I have not experienced much of Emerson’s wisdom, but I ask that You bless him, his generations, dwellings, and property in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ! May we follow in his footsteps to do the intellectual work You have for us in this life. May we bless the future of Minnesota with “enduring good”!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** Cited by Hubert H. Hoeltje in “Emerson in Minnesota”

Click to access v11i02p145-159.pdf

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19th Century, History, Indian, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans, State Government, war

U.S.-Dakota War, First Battle at Fort Ridgely

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August 20, 1862
“About 400 Dakota soldiers attack Fort Ridgely. “We did not fight like white men, with one officer,” recalled Hackinwakanda (Lightning Blanket). “We all shot as we pleased. We shot at the windows, mostly at the big stone building, as we thought many of the whites were in there. . . .” After running out of powder and bullets, the Dakota withdraw and regroup.” *

Jesus, I wish to draw Your attention to the Battle of Fort Ridgely. Will You forgive Hackinwakanda and his men their aggression towards the laws of Minnesota and the U. S. government? Will You forgive the counter judgements’ of Minnesotans’,  and the U.S. government of these exact Dakota soldiers? Will You announce freedom to all parties in the spirit from the bloodguilt of this day?

Where Your spirit is, there is liberty. I want to replace this curse of judgment with blessing of all ancestors of Fort Ridgely on either side of the battle! Renew their trust, their dwellings, and their property forever! Lord have mercy on our battles, and all our known and unknown enemies! Will You give us lenience, then love,  for those outside our fortresses of race, class, gender, politics, religion, and culture?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

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19th Century, abolition, African American, Black History, education, Governors, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, State Government

Ramsey Becomes Governor

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January 2, 1860 to Juyl 10, 1863
Alexander Ramsey takes office as the state’s second governor. He was the only man to be both appointed as governor of the territory and then elected as governor of the state.

Ramsey was re-elected in 1861. In January 1863 he was elected by the state legislature to the U.S. Senate. He resigned the governorship at the end of June 1863, after the legislative session was over.

His administration was marked by sound economic management-particularly of the state’s school lands-and by two crises: the Civil War and the Dakota Uprising. Ramsey was in Washington, D.C., in 1861 at the time the Civil War began, and as governor offered the first volunteer regiment for the Union Army.

Jesus thank you for Alexander Ramsey. Thank you for the leadership through two of the most trying events our state has faced; The Dakota Uprising, and the Civil War. Holy Spirit, I invite You to move and direct my thoughts and prayers. That said, today I feel You are taking me on a tangent.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

Master, What can one add that hasn’t been said about the Dakota Uprising? Scholars from many backgrounds have analyzed the information regarding this scar in Minnesotan history, and yet there is a gnawing sense of brokeness between Native and non-Native Minnesotans. How to proceed? How do you want to connect the head to the heart of this issue?
As a human being, I can see that there usually aren’t uprisings without provocation. These promptings could be active; i.e. land concessions pushed by rail backed by the power of the State or Federal government. These promptings could be passive; a neglect to uphold ones end of the bargain. What human would respond well if they were told to “eat grass” when they asked for provisions that were rightfully theirs?

Does an offense give us the right to commit atrocities of counter offense? To commit the sin of transference by literally nailing innocent parties to the doors of their homes? I posit to You, Good One, that although we are made in Your image, we have marred it by quashing our offender, our enemy. Who will save us from this cycle of offense and counter-offense, come “come close” and “stay away”?

Many of us have viewed the Native American human as lesser. It was Your pleasure to create all Indians! You made them of many tribes, languages, and nations in Your image and a reflection of Your glory! Will You forgive all non- Native Minnesotans:
1. All our unrighteous thoughts towards First Nations?
2. All our words of judgment, and verbal expressions of contempt of Native Americans?
3. Any legal expressions of contempt towards Indians?
4. Our judgment of Your handiwork; the Native American human being?

In the same light, we have wrongly grouped Non-Natives as having a singular viewpoint. We have, at times, monolithically condemned those of European descent as “racist” and “invaders”. Are You not the Creator of the Americans of European descent?
Will You forgive all Native Minnesotans:
1. All our unrighteous thoughts towards European Americans?
2. All our words of judgment, and verbal expressions of contempt of Non-Native Americans?
3. Any legal expressions of contempt towards European Immigrants?
4. Our judgment of Your handiwork; the Non-Native American human being?

In a similar vein, will You forgive this State our offenses to You by the judgments foisted on Governor Ramsey, and any political leaders since who have wrestled such weighty conflicts? They have to make difficult choices based on incomplete information, and yet we, as their constituents, often show no mercy on their human frailties! Christ have mercy on our judgments of our leaders for not fixing OUR broken hearts, and their divisive and untrusting attitudes! Can new laws make people show respect and love towards each other?

Taking another huge bite, I’m sure the enemy wreaked havoc in the state through the Civil War. I’m sure many were conflicted about trying to establish peace between the North and the South, slave and free, through warfare. Help me sort out the things to pray over this event.

First, forgive the audacity and judgments of the Church towards slavery. Granted, there was not one monolithic point of view, but there were many that named the name of Jesus, and still saw fit to hold slaves. Will You forgive us this view as a state? As a nation? As the Church of America?

Many of us have viewed the African human as lesser. It was Your pleasure to create all Africans! You made them of many tribes, languages, and nations in Your image and a reflection of Your glory! Will You forgive all non- African Minnesotans:
1. All our unrighteous thoughts towards Africans!
2. All our words of judgment, and verbal expressions of slavery of Africans.
3. Any legal expressions of slavery towards Africans.
4. Our judgment of Your handiwork; the African human being!

Second, will You forgive African Minnesotans, and any of the ancestors of American enslavement:
1. All our unrighteous thoughts towards non-Africans!
2. All our words of judgment of non-Africans.
3. Any legal expressions of revenge towards non-Africans.
4. Our judgment of Your handiwork; the non-African human being!

Being from a military family, in a sense I’m proud that our forefathers were among the first to voluntarily to die in battle opposing slavery. The righteousness of slavery had been a bone of contention and internal conflict in our psyche when were still Charters from England. Thank You that many in our State have consistently supported the rights of life and liberty for all through the ages.
Would things have been different if the Church had risen in prayer and fasting over the injustices of slavery? The Church has followed culture into physical war so often, instead of engaging the enemy inwardly. We have tried to change the heart of our nation towards the black African slave through external battle. We try to bring peace to the world around us without first doing the work of making peace with You and your children in our hearts. Christ have mercy on us!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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19th Century, Americana, Business, Civics, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Real Estate

Nininger Founded

220px-Nininger

October 1, 1856
“Minnesota is booming with grandiose plans and get-rich-quick schemes. John Nininger and Ignatius Donnelly establish the town of Nininger—on the south bank of the Mississippi River, five miles up river from Hastings—in the summer of 1856. Their town exists only on paper, but in their dreams it is a great metropolis, a center of commerce and culture, a rival of Chicago. Active sale of land and building operations begin about October 1, 1856.” *
Donnelly promotes Nininger across the nation. In February 1858 the legislature grants a charter to the town, and the town has shops, churches, a dance hall, a poor house, a school, and a population of perhaps as many as 1,000 persons. The dream town of Nininger declines steadily after the financial panic of 1857 that causes banks across the country to call in loans. People move away. Buildings disappear. The town eventually disappears from the map.

Lord, we are looking for heaven… but usually the one of our own design. You have given us imagination to organize society and solve civic problems. We often lack the humility to remain in relationship when we are hurt, or to forgive and resolve problems. Forgive any judgments of Donnelly and Nininger towards the residents of Nininger and each other. Forgive any counter judgments of the people of Nininger. Will You continue this process until full restoration?
Also, I acknowledge the financial judgments made in the panic of 1857: Eastern banks judged Western farmers, small business judged large business, etc. Lord, we have sinned against You by the judgments of the panic of 1857! Many have paid debts unfairly placed on them, and made counter judgments towards banks, businessmen, lawyers, city, county, and state officials etc.

Unfortunately, we are bound by our judgments of banks, as well as state and federal laws! Free us as a people in the North Star state! Heal our economy and our hearts that easily are swayed into discontent! We have coveted our neighbor’s property! We have coveted our neighbors’ real and imagined legal freedoms! We often submit to debt out of envy! Hear our prayer! Heal our land past, free us in the present, and blesser relationships to it in the future!

*http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

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19th Century, government, History, Indian, Intercession, law, Leadership, Minnesota, Native Americans, omnipresent history, State Government

Gorman Becomes Territorial Governor

Willis Arnold Gorman

Willis Arnold Gorman

May 15, 1853 to April 27, 1857
“Willis Arnold Gorman takes office as the territory’s 2nd governor. As a U.S. Representative from Indiana, he supported Franklin Pierce in his successful bid for the presidency and was rewarded with the governorship of the Minnesota Territory.” *

“Democrat Franklin Pierce took office in March 1853 and replaced Ramsey with Willis as Minnesota territorial governor.” **

Today I told the Lord that this is a portion of our history that I don’t know much about. I don’t know about Gorman or why he was replaced. Some days I watch and pray and things flow easily. Others days it is difficult to see the significance of the event I’m meditating on.

After some research I found one plausible answer why the Governor Ramsey was replaced by Governor Gorman. The facts seem to indicate that he wrestled with balancing his interactions with the Ojibwe and with the powerful lumbering interests. Looks like he was caught in the middle; which master to serve? His waffling is documented below:
“This quagmire of incompetence and callousness went on for three years, while several hundred Indians died of starvation and disease.” ***

As to Governor Gorman’s temperament, he was a lifelong lawyer, and his character of self-restraint seemed better suited to the times. His legalistic disposition must have helped to find nuanced solutions for a government between a First Nation, and a booming timber industry. He was so dedicated to law that he returned to it after serving in the Civil War! There he remained, serving as St. Paul City attorney, for the rest of his life.

Thanks for Governor Gorman! In him, You brought a man who was even-keeled and suited to the issues of his days! Bless him and all leaders who calmly and deliberately serve their constituents!

As for Governor Ramsey, will You forgive his double-mindedness? We are humans just like him, and sometimes fail to be strong in our decisions. Irregardless of Your mercy, will You bring justice to all human suffering caused by his hesitancy? Will You bring restoration to the Ojibwe, both then, now, and into our future?
http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** Redix, Eric M., “The Murder of Joe White: Ojibwe Leadership and Colonialism in Wisconsin”.
*** Risjord, Norman K. “A Popular History of Minnesota”

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19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, Faith, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, Treaties

Treaty of Mendota

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August 5, 1851
“In August the commissioners begin negotiations with the Lower Bands at Mendota. The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute are pressured into agreeing to terms similar to those forced on the Upper Bands, including $220,000 in upfront cash to the fur traders. Both treaties promise the Dakota new reservations along the Minnesota River “in perpetuity,” a pledge that will not be kept.” *
Lord, forgive the human desire to ‘work the system’ and pad our own nests! Will You forgive this heinous offense of the fur traders towards the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute within the Treaty of Mendota? Even greater, will You forgive this breech of justice committed against You through the deception of these two tribes?

Per contra, will You forgive the shame and anger of the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute towards: Lea, Sibley, Ramsey, Minnesota Territory, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Federal Government, and all unnamed parties participating in their deception? Sweet Jesus, it’s always so hard for the victims of injustice to let go of their righteous anger; will You give this gift to the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute Nations? Will You kindly and gently take this generational curse which has bound them to their historic offenders up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? Will You restore what the enemy has taken from them, and bring Your Healing Presence to the peoples and lands involved? This land is Your property, may we view it as such both now and “in perpetuity”!

We, in the present, are angered by the deception of the Upper and Lower Dakota Bands at the hands of Luke Lea, and Alexander Ramsey through the trustful signing of the “Trader’ Papers”!!! The desire to disconnect ourselves from this event is powerful, yet Your Word gives us no escape when we offend You by accusing our neighbors. You do not yield the spirit of the law to comply with the letter of the law. You are both Grace and Truth! Help us remember this example spoken to self-righteous human accusers so many centuries ago?

“They said this to test Him, in order to have a basis for accusing Him. But Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with His finger. When they continued to question Him, He straightened up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” Berean Study Bible, John 8:6-7 **

Will You give us the merciful eyes of Christ today, and into the eternal future of Minnesota? Help us see the humanity within victim and victimizer, the accuser and the accused, and to stand humbly with You against evil and for the good? May we become agents of humanity against the division and deception of the Evil One; the Author of All Grudges. Amen!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** https://biblehub.com/john/8-7.htm

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19th Century, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

1st Territorial Legislature Meets Sep 3, 1849  

Central House, St. Paul, MN

The Minnesota Territorial Legislature met for the first time in the Central House in Saint Paul.*

Will You come today, Counselor, and offer Your teaching about this beginning? I find that the first territorial legislature was dominated by men from New England or of New England ancestry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota It was a legal business meeting first, but what other impacts may have occurred?

My first thought, Teacher, is that we carry our personal histories with us into each new venture no matter how tightly we hold our cards. That said, I’m wondering now the impact of these sons of New England on our state. What were their strengths, fears, dreams, or biases?

In any case, I commend to you this representative meeting. Christ, our Advocate, how You must smile when we seek to keep faith by simply meeting with each other! May we follow Your example of humble authority in the governance of this state. May these meetings be an eternal ray of blessing from September 3, 1849 forward!

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19th Century, History, Minnesota, Politics, Prayer, State Government

Minnesota Territory Established

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March 3, 1849

“Minnesota becomes an organized territory, an important step on the way to becoming a state. Minnesota Territory stretches west to the Missouri River in what will become North and South Dakota.” *

The name “Minnesota”comes from the Dakota word for “clear blue water.” Owing to its large number of lakes, the state is informally known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Its official motto is L’Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North). **

Thanks that our ancestors decided to establish this Minnesota territory. There is power in naming or renaming. You renamed the people of Israel and Judah through the prophet Hosea saying, “So let your brothers be called “My People” and your sisters be called “Shown Mercy.” Hosea 2:1 Formerly, they had been called Lo-Ruhamah meaning “No Mercy” and Lo-Ammi meaning “Not My People.” Lord, will You continue to rename us throughout Minnesota territory from March 3, 1849 forward?

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .

**http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota

 

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19th Century, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, justice, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics

Taliaferro Becomes Indian Agent 1820  

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Lawrence Taliaferro

Virginian Lawrence Taliaferro (pronounced “Tolliver”) becomes the Indian agent at Fort Snelling. Respected by the Indians for never making promises he could not keep, he works hard for 20 years to rid the fur trade of whisky and cheating. At last, in poor health and tired of the government’s broken promises, he resigns.*

Lord, thank you for honest people! What pleasure it is to have someone return our phone, admit a mistake in our favor at the cash register, or actually put a lost item into the “lost and found” so we can reclaim it. As King Solomon wrote so many years ago, “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” I simply wish to honor and remember the “honest people” of the world to You today, and commend to You their example.

Father of Honesty, Mother of Truth, today I wish to honor  and remember Lawrence Taliaferro, who crystallizes this type of character. Thank you that he wanted a square deal for Indians of Minnesota who came to him at Fort Snelling. There is such power in a person who is willing to let their yes mean “Yes”, and their no mean “No”.

We are no different than Lawrence. There are many times that we tire of doing good and quit. Often, there is more punishment and criticism for doing the right thing than sweeping the wrong thing under the rug!? Will You forgive our hearts to quit doing right and forgive Mr. Taliaferro!? Will you forgive any assessments he made, probably quite logically, of the Federal government’s failure to honor its promises? Will You bless these specific tribes of Indians in the specific areas that they have been wronged? Will You forgive any tribal counter-judgments or resentments of State or Federal government? Will You begin to heal these centuries-old heartaches today?

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .  The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

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History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Uncategorized

What is PTH? Why pray about the past?

I freely confess that the following outline is a work in progress. I simply want to share the framework and rationale of why praying through history is pertinent to me. Everyone who names the name of Jesus is called to be a minister of reconciliation, and this is just one man’s attempt to practice.

I. There are specific “moments of separation” in human history. Our perceptions lead to thoughts that overlook or take offense. I will call these “thought-judgments”.

For example, the Seljuk Turks attack and overcome the city of Jerusalem.

II. Action-based judgments at the moment of the offense.

  • Jews to Seljuks, Jews to all Turks, Jews of Jerusalem towards any outsider.
  • Seljuks to Jerusalem’s Jews, Seljuks to all Jews, Seljuk’s towards all enemies.

III. Future judgments are formed based on memory and perception; bitter root judgments are formed.

  • Transference on a cultural scale.
  • Perpetuation of a past offense.
  • Walking backward into our future.

IV. Parties are held responsible for their actions and judgments in the Lord’s justice.

  • Even righteous anger betrays the victim. Perhaps even more so if the victim is a city, culture, tribe, or nation. Under the dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ, all have been forgiven all, and therefore must seek and practice to forgive all to remain true to His example. (This is not easy, but perhaps impossible apart from His mercy. The decision of the will may be simple, but the maintaining a heart of forgiveness is divine. )
  • This is not an endorsement of living without boundaries, especially personal boundaries. This is not an endorsement to submit to an abuser. Rather, it is a challenge of the rights of a human being to hold another prisoner by the maintenance of an offense.

V. We can representationally acknowledge historical sin before our Lord.

  • Through Christ we have access to his Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence. He is present to all history, the present, and future events. He is within time, and beyond our comprehension of time. He knows all and can guide us to pray representationally, (intercession) for events of history, the present, and the future. He truly has unlimited power to forgive, heal, restore any human condition!
  • His only limitation is self-imposed: He is a gentleman with boundaries. He believes in good and evil, justice and injustice, lightness and darkness, separateness and relationship. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” We can trust in distinctions because he trusts in distinctions. Denial of sin within the context of our relationship with Him or others offends God because it denies our condition of separateness, or that we may have a need to address. Denial allows us to keep our pride, hold a grudge, or maintain anger. To use an old Baptist analogy, “The whole world stands under the Niagara Falls of the Lord’s love. Some have their cups turned up and are filled. Others, though under a deluge of love, can’t seem to keep a drop because their cups are turned upside down.”

VI. Through acknowledgement of historical sins, we set the process of restoration in motion. It is a first step in a process, but is important because it removes the legal grounds of the accusations of the Enemy.

  • We become aware of sin. Often by conscience, or reading or hearing of history.
  • We confess it to the Lord. This is a legal admission of guilt.
  • We pronounce the Lord’s forgiveness of confessed sin. (1 John 1: 8-10)
  • He will guide it through the full process of restoration.
    1. Confession leads to remorse.
    2. Remorse leads to repentance.
    3. Repentance leads to reconciliation.
    4. Reconciliation leads to restoration.
  • We cannot change past events, but replace a heritage cursed relationships with a ray of blessed ones; a change beginning at a fixed point in time, but continuing into eternity.

VII. Additional scriptural principles or mandates that outline our authority under Christ to pray through history.

1. Author Derek Prince sheds light on several key passages of scripture:

  • “It is never the will of God that the judgment due the wicked should come upon the righteous.” Genesis 18: 23,25 NIV
  • “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” v. 23 Abraham asks.
  • ”Far be it from you to do such a thing — to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” v. 25
  • On Christians’ dual citizenship: “By natural birth [the apostle Paul, like any Christian] is a citizen of an earthly nation, and he is subject to all the ordinances and requirements of his nation’s lawful government. But by spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ, he is also a citizen of God’s heavenly kingdom. This is the basis of Paul’s statement, … “We…are citizens of heaven.” Philippians 3:20 NEB
  • Another example, Jeremiah 1: 5,10 NIV – ”I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” v.5
  • ”See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” v.10
  • Jeremiah was subject as a citizen of Judah: he did not “preach or practice political subversion or anarchy. Nor did he ever seek to evade or resist decrees made by the government concerning him, even though these were at times arbitrary and unjust. Yet on the spiritual plane to which God elevated him through his prophetic ministry, Jeremiah exercised authority over the very rulers to whom he was in subjection on the natural plane.”
    – Derek Prince, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting,
     (Springdale, PA: Whittaker House,1973)  [Bolded emphasis mine.]

2. Theologian Timothy Tennent speaks to Christians’ God-given ability to express forgiveness from God.

  • Mark 2:1-12 NIV v 5. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “ Son, your sins are forgiven.” v 10.
  • “But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…”He said to the paralytic, v11.
  • “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” “It is interesting to note that in John 20:22-23, Jesus breathes upon his disciples to receive the Holy Spirit, and then pronounces, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  Jesus is giving the church the authority to announce His forgiveness in the lives of those who come to Him in faith.
  • We do not have the innate ability to forgive anyone’s sins against God, or to withhold God’s forgiveness of sins from anybody.  But Jesus has given the Church the authority to act as His regents or representatives in the world, and to speak on His behalf.  We can declare that “God forgives you” with all the authority of Jesus, because we are not declaring our forgiveness, but rather His forgiveness in Christ.  We are merely pronouncing the forgiveness made possible by the sacrifice of Christ.”-Timothy Tennent, President, Asbury Theological Seminary http://blogs.asburyseminary.edu/global-talk/the-temple-is-here-mark-21-12/ [Bolded emphasis mine]

3.  His Holiness John Paul II, First Sunday of Lent “Day of Pardon” Presentation Vatican Basilica, 12 March 2000:

  • The meaning of the celebration of Lent: “…Christians are invited to acknowledge, before God and before those offended by their actions, the faults which they have committed. Let them do so without seeking anything in return, but strengthened only by the ‘love of God which has been poured finto our hearts’ (Rom 5:5)” (Incarnationis Mysterium, 11; cf. Terno Millennio Adveniente, 33).
  • …The Lord has been living and present in his Church, and through the Saints he has demonstrated that he continues to be at work in human history, in the midst of his community. Certainly, Christians, as pilgrims and wayfarers towards the Kingdom, remain sinners, frail, weak and subject to the temptations of Satan, the Prince of this world, despite their incorporation into the Body of Christ. In every generation the holiness of the Church has shone forth, witnessed by countless numbers of her sons and daughters; yet this holiness has been contradicted by the continuing presence of sin which burdens the journey of God’s People. The Church can sing both the Magnificat for what God has accomplished within her and the Miserere for the sins of Christians, for which she stands in need of purification, penance and renewal (cf. Lumen Gentium, 8).
  • “The Church cannot cross the threshold of the new millennium without encouraging her children to purify themselves through repentance of past errors and instances of infidelity, inconsistency and slowness to act” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 33). Consequently, a liturgy seeking pardon from God for the sins committed by Christians down the centuries is not only legitimate; it is also the most fitting means of expressing repentance and gaining purification.  Pope John Paul II, in a primatial act, confesses the sins of Christians over the centuries down to our own time, conscious that the Church is a unique subject in history, “a single mystical person”. The Church is a communion of saints, but a solidarity in sin also exists among all the members of the People of God: the bearers of the Petrine ministry, Bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful.– Source: http://www.catholiclinks.org/sacramentoperdondiadelperdon.htm  [Bolded emphasis mine.]

In Closing

Not all, but many, stories of the past are characterized by an antagonist/ protagonist relationship. I want to get beyond that broken record! I want to remember that I am just like them both; a human being with a heart filled with mixed motives! Perhaps one day we will learn to let the other guy off the hook, and create a just and merciful analytical model for history that will foster future generations in their struggles to ‘love their enemies, and do good to those who persecute them.’ May we, by the authority of the King of the Universe, practice to: heal the past, free the present, and bless the future. Amen!

James D. Orvis

 

 

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