Prayer: Examination Of Conscience

Before I begin this communal prayer, I would like to preface this presentation by saying a few things.

In the Roman Catholic Church and its liturgical traditions, an examination of conscience is a reflective activity where one sets aside quiet time to reflect on and call to mind the sins, imperfections, and moral failures he has made over a period of time, with consultation of the Holy Spirit. It is usually given by a priest prior to the Sacrament of Confession, which allows the person to “confess his sins” before a priest, who will offer him an act of “penance” (or reconciliation.)

It is worth noting that I am not a part of the Catholic Church, nor am I a supporter of the idea of confessing to man to absolve one’s sins. It is Jesus Christ alone who forgives us for our sins when we confess and repent.

In the wake of the two year anniversary of the tragic murder of 46-year-old George Floyd, the style and methodology of this particular composition is not meant to endorse any one denomination over another, rather to expose you to different styles and methods of spiritual expression, specifically the rite of prayer and lamentation through the eyes of other Christian sects, while communicating the core messages of the Gospel.

The nature of this writing style is to cohesively communicate the gravity of the generational sins which plagues America. This is not so much for Floyd and his family alone, but for the country, its allies, and the surrounding nations which have witnessed this evil, and partook in the systemic oppression and African-Americans and other creeds. To further protray the reality and universality of racism and systemic oppression as a generational sin, America is protrayed as a mother birthing children, representing the coming generations since slavery. The following prayer is translated in both English and Latin. Supplemental illustrations are linked at the end of this portion of the protest.

Prayer (Latin)

Misericors Dóminus ómnium géntium;
Oramus pro America, fascinata foemina.
Suum thesaurum libertatis et prosperitatis abdidit
Inferioris hominis carnes comedere.
Memoriae transitus Georgii Floyd;
Deploramus humanae vitae iacturam;
Aer dedit ei Deus inspirare;
Corde suo tenerum: Ecclesia misericordiae;
et lumen quod in pigmento cutis eius refulsit.
Mater America liberos suos prodidit
Sacrum votum solvendo
Esse terram liberorum
Et domum fortium.
Aperi oculos suos, ne se ipsa decipiat;
Excaecavit enim eam Satan in ira furoris sui
Pupillum deridens sibi dissimilem cognatum suum;
Venter eius plenus inimicitiae;
Liberos suos in saltu ferarum proterviam eripi
Propriis manibus systematis innectis
Quod justum non est justum, justum est;
Abnegans dimidium veri et fabulis iniquitatem suam.
Domine, ubi pestilens suspicio et stereotypa infructuosa sunt;
Dilectio alta, pura et prudens;
Odiosa odor evanens odii;
Dolorem perferendis, culpa,
Peperit filiam nomine Reconciliationem;
Quis erit responsabilitas ad tranquillitatem restituendam
Quia primogenito suo spopondit.
Scrutemur ergo conscientiam nostram;
et labore plantandi hortum
Iustitiae et fraternae caritatis fructus metit
Quod per nihilum finitum est, et perpetuum per aeternitatem.

Prayer (English)

O Merciful Lord Of All The Nations,
We pray for America, a bewitched woman.
She has buried her treasure of freedom and prosperity
To eat the flesh of the Inferior Man.
As we remember the passing of George Floyd,
We lament at the loss of human life:
The air God gave Him to breathe,
His tender heart: A church of compassion,
And the light that shined in the pigment of his skin.
Mother America has betrayed her children
By breaking the sacred vow
To be the land of the free
And the home of the brave.
Open her eyes, lest she not deceive herself:
For Satan has blinded her with fits of rage–
Mocking the Orphan who is unlike her kin,
Her belly full of animosity,
Enslaving her children to the rowdy jungle of wild beasts —
With her own hands, crafting a system
That just is not true just-ice,
Denying her iniquity with half-truth and fables.
Lord, where there is unwholesome suspicion and unfruitful stereotypes,
Let love be profound, pure, and prudent:
Vanishing the distasteful aroma of hatred,
Enduring the pain of her sin,
Birthing a daughter named Reconciliation,
Who will take the responsibility to restore the tranquility
That she pledged to her firstborn child.
Let us therefore examine our conscience,
And do the hard work of planting the garden
That reaps fruits of justice and brotherly affection
That is limited by nothing, and continual through eternity.

To add context to the art displayed, the picture of Minneapolis is colored in a deep red, representing the communal pain of the generational sin of racism.

Generally used in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Confession in the Catholic Church, the purple stole was a special garment that priests wore while members of the Church confessed their sins and performed penance during Lent and Easter. Hence the context of this protest, this is a symbol of national reconciliation and repentance.

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