I countered that I felt reasonably safe at home and going out, even at night without a gun. Even though I frequently go into a neighborhood plagued by crime when I participate in activities at my inner-city parish, I feel reasonably safe. My faith community has always responded to any threat with common sense and preventive strategies. We look out for one another. No one has need of a gun. I am simply unworried. I mentioned to the others that at every Mass we Catholics pray to be delivered from anxiety - and that I believe that God will protect me. I think they were polite, but probably could not understand my attitude any more than I could understand theirs.
One of the great gifts of being a believing Catholic is a sense of trust in God's providence. It is truly a case of lex orandi, lex credendi - what we pray is what we believe. Near the end of the Lord's Prayer at every Mass, we pause as the priest prays the Embolism prayer.The name, which evokes images of a "bubble", comes from a Greek word meaning interpolation - currently this is:
Deliver us Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.in the new translation, which we will begin using on November 27, 2011, it is rendered:
Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant us peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
This peace, this delivery from "anxiety" or "distress" is an important part of being Christ's people. As Jesus told his disciples he would soon be leaving them, he said "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (John 14:27)
This is one of the gifts that Catholic faith can offer to people living in a troubled world. Inner peace, delivery from anxiety. True followers of Jesus live in the moment, trusting that God is here now, and will be here in the next moment. Common sense, yes. Living as if you are in a war-zone, beset with constant fear for personal safety, not so much.