The most recent mass shooting has us all thinking and praying again. But last night’s reaction was different: there was an outburst of outrage at those who offer “thoughts and prayers” without promising any sort of action to prevent violence in the future.
I have read that this was an “attack on prayer“, that criticizing those who offer prayer is fundamentally anti-religious, but I disagree with that reading of the reaction. I saw people frustrated with using well-wishes as a replacement for the work needed to transform our society.
This morning I remembered this quote: Work as if it all depends on you, pray as if it all depends on God. I wish I could take credit for it. There are conflicting reports of to whom it should be attributed, some say Augustine, some Ignatius Loyola, and it can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (attributed to Iggy).
Regardless, it captures the “both/and” mentality that many people of faith value. We can do both at the same time: we can pray intensely but also work intensely, and perhaps both are equally needed.
What are your thoughts (and prayers) on thoughts and prayers?