A prayer from the Episcopal prayer book:
Lord Jesus, for our sake you were condemned as a criminal: Visit our jails and prisons with your pity and judgment. Remember all prisoners, and bring the guilty to repentance and amendment of life according to your will, and give them hope for their future. When any are held unjustly, bring them release; forgive us, and teach us to improve our justice. Remember those who work in these institutions; keep them humane and compassionate; and save them from becoming brutal or callous. And since what we do for those in prison, O Lord, we do for you, constrain us to improve their lot. All this we ask for your mercy’s sake. Amen.
Doing some reading this morning, Pascal was a pretty smart fellow:
Men never do evil so completely or cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
AJC has a guest op/ed discussing how much it costs to perform the Christian ministerial duties of visiting prisoners. Between the collect calls, ATM fees, and other charges (which, ironically, are imposed by private sector contractors who resist reveiling the profit margins and whose owners have gone to prison defending their take!) incurred by the person performing one’s duty, one can incur hundreds of dollars a year if one visited once a week. Here is a worthy project for Christian political activist groups – 1) Remove barriers to visiting those in prison and 2) motivate their grassroots members to visit. If the stats are true, reporting that prisoners receiving visitors have lower rates of recidivism, then this is truly one faith-