Dear God of the Chosen People,

Martin Luther was a man of deep and ardent, faith and heroic proselytizing.

He was, regrettably, prone to a hatred
of the Jewish people, which was endemic
to Germany in the Middle Ages.

This viscous hatred had a long history, including pogroms which preceded the First Crusade in 1096, expulsions from England
in 1290, massacres of Spanish Jews in 1391, persecutions by the Spanish Inquisition, expulsion from Spain in 1492, Cossack massacres in Ukraine, various pogroms
in Russia, the Dreyfus affair, the World War II Holocaust, official Soviet anti-Jewish policies and hostilities leading to the Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries.

Sadly reflecting his times, Luther wrote
that "so thoroughly hopeless, mean, poisonous, and bedeviled a thing are the Jews that
for 1400 years they have been and continue
to be, our plague, pestilence, and all that is our misfortune." He suggested that the only way to baptize Jews was by hanging millstones around their necks.

I know that two proud churchmen, Pope Leo X and the monk, Martin Luther, clashed in 1517, splintering monolithic Christianity into what
now embraces some 33,000 Protestant branches. I muse at how different the world might be if these two proud men had found a way to make
intellectual, dogmatic and spiritual peace with each other.

The Pope was the second son of Lorenzo
il Magnifico
, ruler of the grand Florentine Republic. The Pope is remembered for his unfortunate comment, "Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it." While not wholly dissolute, he spent extravagantly on artworks and lived a gaudy life of rich "enjoyment."

Please, Lord of All, please keep me from any trace of antisemitism. Please restrain me from rash acts or decisions such as those of Leo. Protect me from pride. Keep me from antagonism and confrontations. Let me not concentrate
on the artistic beauties of the world,
to the detriment of acts of charity and mercy, as well as meditation on the glories
of Your goodness and Your eternal kingdom.

Let me respect religious beliefs not my own, and please, God, keep my own faith firm, built on a solid foundation of hope and prayer.

I prayer for the souls of Martin Luther,
and for the adherents of the 33,000 Protestant sects, and for Atheists, Agnostics, Jews, Islamists, Buddhists, people of all other faiths, and all people who have not had the gift of faith which was given to me.

Let my religion never make me proud or insensitive, but rather humble and grateful.

Keep me at peace, please, King of Peace.

All this I pray in Your name, the name
of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit,


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