Prague at night is gentle and romantic. This view, not far from my apartment, shows off the cathedral set like a great, blood-red Czech garnet in a setting of sapphires and yellow diamonds of palaces ringing the church like bees around their queen. She sits magnificent, huge, matriarchal and tired.
At first glance, the cathedral and its palaces, built between the tenth and nineteenth centuries seems so serene. The night is quiet.The river flows as it has for a thousand years through this city, with an air of “I’ve seen it all before. you. You will pass. I will always be here.”
And yet, this city, as peaceful and quiet as it seems to be, is heaving from the post traumatic stress of real life. Celts building castles. Warriors storming castles. Roman Catholics building churches and burning protestants. Protestants rising up to fight Roman Catholics. German protestants judging English Protestants. Roman Catholic kings breaking protestants on the rack. Protestants meeting with secret plans of conquest. Catholics throwing protestant diplomats from windows. A thirty year’s war over it all.
The city seems tired. Or perhaps I am just projecting. Or both.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us. We are doing our best to be your church and we are doing a really %@*&@#%@ job at it. What would you think of us were you to read our history books, attend our vestry meetings, sit in counsel in our dioceses?
Lord, today, make me an instrument of your peace, not an instrument of your church.