A prayer of the Church which was read one Sunday morning has me scratching my head. In the prayer, there was an undoubtedly well-intentioned petition seeking divine help to clean up the sin infesting our cities. Now, indeed we need divine help to bring cleansing, healing and forgiveness to those who are under the control of sin in their lives . . . in the city.
Then again, maybe not. After all, Walden Pond excepted, the suburbs and rural areas of our country are also beset by sin and its effects. Undoubtedly, the petition in this prayer of the Church is a wake-up call to the fact that we cannot forget the cities and the problems that all cities have.
On the other hand, the petition leaves the average faithful with the idea that sin has not yet crossed the city limits. This petition leaves the impression that those who live outside the city do not need forgiveness. Or is it, that forgiveness is no longer effective?
Although this may be a negative example of lex orandi, lex credendi we can hope that city limits will not be used to profile sin nor to put boundaries on forgiveness, forgiveness that in Christ is equal to "seventy times seven."