When John XXIII became pope in 1958, one of his jobs was to govern the world-wide Catholic Church. Daily he heard stories of troubles all around the world: priests and nuns killed in Africa. The plight of war and poverty. Refugees who needed help. And on and on.
The problems seemed endless. One temptation is to think that being given a role of power means that you can save every thing, every one and every situation.
When the sky seemed to be falling, Pope John had a prayer every night, “I’ve done my best I could in your service this day, O Lord. I’m going to bed. It’s your church. You take care of it!”
This prayer isn’t indifference to problems. Nor is it abdication of responsibility. It is however a recognition that although we can do some things, we are not capable of doing every thing. It also challenges us to remember that when we cannot do everything, we should not be kept from doing something.
But recognizing these human limitations, let us turn in prayer to the infinite One:
Almighty God, we give over to you our selves and those whom we serve to your kind care-giving. Help us to see that the world is not as bad as we worry it is. Help us to see that the world is not as good as we imagine it is. Help us to do what we can, but not more. For we are all your people and this is your world. Take care of us, loving God. Amen.