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JESUITICA: United by a prayer

drumcree_01Do you remember the sectarian troubles in Portadown, in the bad old days? In July 1998 angry Orangemen were milling around the church in Drumcree, preparing to march down the Garvahy Road to humiliate the papists, especially the hated Jesuits. They were still anxious to make it a religious occasion, and an ecumenical observer heard them reciting the beautiful prayer for generosity: Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to love you as you deserve…. What struck the observer above all was the irony that the prayer they thundered out was written by St Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. He and the Presbyterians of Drumcree were united in their love for Jesus. Prayer can do more than give vent to frustration and anger. It can open us to our enemies in ways we do not expect.