Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
From Lamentations 3
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I will call to mind
As my reason to have hope:
22 The favors of the Lord are not exhausted,
his mercies are not spent.
23 They are renewed each morning;
So great is his faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the saving help of the LORD.
In the 6th century before Christ, the Babylonians invaded and devastated the Holy City Jerusalem and the temple of the Lord. Jeremiah the prophet had foretold that this would happen, because of the sins of the people. The Book of Lamentations contains some of the most exquisite expressions of human grief, as the writer behold the destruction God allowed his people to experience.
But they were still his people, and his covenant was still valid. Hence the expression of hope stated above. And it is also a prophecy. God’s mercies are renewed “each morning,” for “Early in the morning, on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,” the women went to the tomb and found it empty! (cf. John 20:1).
Father of faithful mercies,
God of the Covenant and Lord of all hope,
Come, and save us!
Save us from the darkness that envelops us,
The shadow of death and falsehood across this land.
Enable us, O Lord, like your remnant from of old,
To grieve, but to grieve with hope;
To lament because of the darkness,
Yet to look forward with firm conviction to the light.
Lord, we again profess our faith
That your favors to your People are not exhausted
Your mercies to America are not spent.
They are indeed renewed each morning,
As we declare the mighty Resurrection of Jesus Christ your Son.
In him, all darkness gives way to light
All sin gives way to grace,
All falsehood gives way to truth,
And death itself is swallowed up in victory.
To him our hearts bow once again in humble adoration,
And before him all the kings of the earth must kneel,
All the powers of the earth must acknowledge his kingdom.
Hasten, O Lord, the full coming of your Kingdom,
A kingdom of truth and life,
A kingdom of holiness and grace,
A kingdom of justice, love, and peace.
Fill us today with that peace,
Which the world cannot give,
And which no setback or election can ever take away.
In the strength of that peace,
Grant that we may redouble our efforts
To announce and prepare for your Kingdom,
To defend the values and principles on which our nation was founded,
To build the culture of life,
And to invite all people to life eternal.
We pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.