Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 6:12pm

I can't breathe

Catholic Bishop Mark Seitz did something unusual.

There was a sign that read “Black Lives Matter”.

With faces masked, eyes closed, each holding white rose, 12 priests from the Diocese of El Paso knelt in silence.

For 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

The same amount of time a police officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd, who later died in custody.

They were praying for George and in the words of Pope Francis, “all those who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism.” At his weekly Angelus prayer at the Vatican, the Holy Father addressed Floyd by name, something he rarely does.

What can we do? We can add our prayers, we can show those most glorious Fruits of the Holy Spirit: tolerance, love, peace, kindness, gentleness.

We have stopped clapping the NHS outside our front doors. So why not kneel in silence with our neighbours for 8 minutes at 8 pm on Thursday?


Cry Out Loud

My saviour stands and keeps my soul serene

But also sends me back into the world

To speak his word and challenge the obscene


Injustices we take for granted, sold

As we are on systems that preserve

Our privilege and barter truth for gold


Putting our souls to silence.  We reserve

Our judgement but the psalmist makes it clear

Justice is coming for God’s poor. We serve


Him best if we can serve them here,

Rise up and take their part against the proud

Deliver them from harassment and fear.


We have been pietistic, quiet, cowed

But we must come out publicly and cry

For equal rights and justice, cry out loud.

Reflections on Psalm 94 by the Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge, Revd Dr Malcolm Guite.

If you feel despondent, or that your effort isn't going to make a difference, remember the words of the late Stephen Hawking:

It matters that you don't give up