What Catholics pray for during Mass: Should they watch their language?

Praying for peace is a good idea, but for an “end to violence” or even the specific “end to violence in Chicago”? That’s praying for the end of the world, which will be a wonderful thing, to be sure. The earliest Christians prayed for it. But we might add an Augustinian “not yet.” Why not “less violence”? Or “fewer killings on our mean streets,” something we can take seriously without calling for an end to life as we know it. (Unless we are truly asking for the Final Coming.)

Or an end to vote-stealing. Why not expand social-justice discussion to troubles behind the obvious — poverty and the like — into political corruption, which does poor people no good and like everything else affects them most of all.

Or we are asked to pray for the deceased who “rests in the loving embrace” of God, which is romance-novel talk. “May he or she rest in peace” works nicely. Do we need this loving-embrace talk? One cringes.

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