By Mark Azzara
I recently wrote a letter in which I said it’s God’s job to fix the world’s problems, not mine or yours. But that doesn’t mean we should sit idly and do nothing.
Do you pray? After reading just one morning’s summary of stories in The New York Times it would be outrageous if I didn’t.
Here is a brief list of some of the heartbreaking, infuriating and sickening stories to which I’m referring – stories that are reported day after day, month after month, year after year because mankind has no particular desire to change its ways:
- Sudanese citizens protesting their government are in hiding in fear amid a crackdown.
- Residents of Hong Kong are courageously protesting threatened deportation to mainland China for crimes against the state.
- Saudi Arabia plans to execute an 18-year-old boy for “crimes” committed when he was 10.
- Federal security procedures for migrants being treated at U.S. hospitals force them to be treated like criminals and delay or prevent some essential care, according to physicians.
- The fallout from the U.S.-Mexico trade dispute has enormous international implications that could weaken many economies.
- Politicians still haven’t made essential recommended changes to their campaigns that will prevent or at least minimize the risk of Russian or other international interference.
- A key official in the U.S. Education Department is proposing rules changes to the way that colleges are accredited that could protect many “bottom-feeder” for-profit colleges.
- Residents of a New York group home cowered in fear while employees abused them.
- Facial recognition software can help identify criminals when it’s “used properly.” Used properly? Hahahahahahahahahaha.
These summaries don’t do justice to the depth of the reporting but they, plus countless more that infuriate and disgust us, suggest the need for us to pray.
Why pray? Because it’s the one thing we can all do, and most often the only thing we can do, in response to the news. It’s our way of invoking God’s goodness on a world that desperately needs it.
And we need to see that goodness in the world because, when we do, we believe more deeply in the God who has answered our prayers, which inspires true thankfulness. And going from rage to gratitude is a miracle we can all appreciate.
All God’s blessings – Mark
Mark Azzara spent 45 years in print journalism, most of them with the Waterbury Republican in Connecticut, where he was a features writer with a special focus on religion at the time of his retirement. He also worked for newspapers in New Haven and Danbury, Conn. At the latter paper, while sports editor, he won a national first-place writing award on college baseball. Azzara also has served as the only admissions recruiter for a small Catholic college in Connecticut and wrote a self-published book on spirituality, “And So Are You.” He is active in his church and facilitates two Christian study groups for men. Azzara grew up in southern California, graduating from Cal State Los Angeles. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Connecticut.