Years ago, a friend gave me an album (back in the days of vinyl) of Mahalia Jackson singing various hymns. One of them that I am continually reminded of when I begin to get into a criticizing or bitter spirit is “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
I couldn’t find her singing it, but here’s a nice version by Gladys Knight:
Today, Fr. Denis Lemieux, a Madonna House priest, has a lovely post on the Body of Christ that made me think of this hymn. He writes, with my emphases:
We’re all in this together, in other words. Yes, the bishops have power of a sort and can do great harm or great good in their ministry. But so can you. So can I. And we do. Ecclesial communion is not served by finger pointing, by sneering, by snark and invective against the leaders God has currently given us, or by engaging in whatever sort of power struggle we think will move our agenda forward. We need to pray for them. We need to pray for one another. We need to preach the Gospel with our lives and love one another with sincerity of heart and firmness of purpose.This is what makes the Mystical Body healthy, vigorous, alive. And this is the call of Christ to us always, but especially in this time of transition in the Church.