O Lord, keep your family the Church continually in the true faith that, relying on the hope of Your heavenly grace, we may ever be defended by Your mighty power; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
My paternal grandmother was an amazing person who did some remarkable things in her life. She had gone to work in Kansas City in her mid-teens, taking care of the small children of a wealthy family. When Armistice Day was declared and WWI ended, the parents of her charges went out to celebrate. They did not come home for three days. They left their children with a sixteen-year-old girl. It left an impression on her which was not entirely positive. She came to believe that the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the subsequent suffering of WWII were in part God’s judgment on the people of this land for their wild living in the 1920’s. Through these periods of suffering, she believed God had called people to repent and believe.
We pray in this prayer that God will keep his family the Church in the true faith. We can read in our catechism that God the Holy Spirit keeps the church in the true faith. When I read that in the catechism, I imagine that the Spirit is working gently and subtly in my thoughts, feelings, and life. But are there times when I and the whole population really need a good knock on the head?
Our world would have us believe that the universe is an impersonal place. The forces and events which transpire are the product of random, uncaring forces and motions. There is no meaning to it all. But Jesus tells me that God sends the rain on both the just and the unjust. God sends the rain. I am less willing than my grandmother to interpret the times and ascribe to them the intentions of God. I am not always so sure I know what He is up to. I must confess to a fair amount of confusion as God’s plan in these days. I do believe, however, that when economic depressions happen, wars take place, and pandemics hit, God often finds ways to use them to call me and you to repentance, faith, and lives of servant love. God is keeping his family, the church in his true faith and heavenly grace and defending it by his mighty power.