We should always pray for our nation’s peace officers
This Regional Training Seminar of the International Conference of Police Chaplains proved to be one of the most profitable of all I’ve attended over the past sixteen years. As startling as it is to hear, many more police officers die from suicides, each year, than from line of duty deaths. In 2016 there were 143 who died by suicide, and each year since the number has been increasing rapidly. In 2019 228 took their own lives. .
Police officers are, by necessity, good actors, and are able to mask the pain and trauma that comes with their jobs. All this during an age when increasing numbers of our fellow Americans have turned their anger against Peace Officers, becoming quick to accuse them of wrongdoing. We need, as a nation, to demonstrate our respect and support for law enforcement personnel. I am thus proud to wear my Sheriff Chaplain badge on my belt, for in doing so I am letting the world know I stand with our law enforcement officers. It is a blessing and an honor for me to serve as a chaplain to these gallant men and women who serve in this dangerous line of work, while putting their lives on the line, each and every day, to make the rest of us safe.
Some time ago I pulled up next to two Portland, Oregon police cars after I witnessed two officers conversing with one another through their windows. I thanked them for the service to the community, and told them that all the violence that is routinely enacted on the streets of downtown Portland, by radical leftists demonstrating against supposed Nazis, all the while acting as the German Nazis had done during World War II, prompted me to pray all the more for our nation’s law enforcement personnel. Holding up my chaplain’s badge, I told them that I myself, back in the late seventies, had been one of the leaders in a leftist party, and had personally led angry demonstrations in the same area these radicals are using now, for their unholy activism.
I let them know that, in reparation for my former radical activism, I am now proud to serve as a police chaplain. I told them that whenever I see a law enforcement vehicle, I always bless it with the sign of the cross, and just as I was about to drive off, I made the sign of the cross over these two offices.
We must also be mindful of the spouses and children of police officers, and the pain and worry they face, each day, when their loved one heads out to a job that is filled with danger. Can we even imagine what it must be like to be family members who face the possibility their husband or wife, or father or mother, will not return home at the end of the day? As chaplains, we’ve each had to face those faces, sometimes in the early hours of the morning, delivering the terrible news that their loved one died in the line of duty.
Each and every one of us should make it our daily habit to pray for the nations law enforcement personnel, and whenever we encounter an officer, we should thank them for their service. Even if we have been pulled to the side of the road for speeding, we should thank them for making our nation’s highways and cities safer for all of us. And, we should never allow ourselves to diminish the importance of their service to our communities, and always remember that the high suicide rate among them is often directly related to our failure to let them know we love and appreciate them.
With love in Christ,
Friday February 14, 2020 / February 1, 2020
Week of the Publican and the Pharisee. Tone one.
Fast-free Week. Fast-free
Forefeast of the Meeting of Our Lord
Martyr Tryphon of Campsada near Apamea in Syria (250).
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Peter Skipetrov, of Petrograd (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1938).
Martyrs Perpetua, a woman of Carthage, and the catechumens Saturus, Revocatus, Saturninus, Secundulus, and Felicitas (202-203).
Venerable Peter of Galatia, hermit near Antioch in Syria (429).
Venerable Vendemianus (Bendemianus), hermit of Bithynia (512).
Venerable Tryphon, bishop of Rostov (1468).
St. Brigid of Ireland (523) (Celtic & British).
St. Seiriol, abbot of Penmon (Anglesey) (6th c.) (Celtic & British) .
St. Basil, archbishop of Thessalonica (895) (Greek).
Venerable Timothy the Confessor (Greek).
New Martyr Anastasius at Nauplion (1655) (Greek).
Martyrs Theion with 2 children at Kariona (Greek).
Martyr Elias the New of Damascus (779).
Sts. David (784), Symeon (843), and George (844), confessors of Mitylene.
The Scripture Readings
1 John 2:7-17
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.
9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Their Spiritual State
12 I write to you, little children,
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
13 I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father.
14 I have written to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one.
Do Not Love the World
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
The Anointing at Bethany
3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”