METROFOCUS: March 30, 2021

Our Exploring Hate coverage continues with a look at the George Floyd murder trial and an examination of the possible effects the legal process could have on the legacy of his untimely death. President and CEO of the National Urban League who is pushing for the passing of The George Floyd Justice and Policing Act joins us to discuss accountability and misconduct of the police. Then, in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings, as the feds announce the creation of a special unit to probe bias crimes, he’ll share his comprehensive set of actions, created in collaboration with other civil rights and social justice groups, to combat anti-Asian hate and violence.

This Passover and Holy Week leading up to Easter we examine the comforts of religion and ask- What is Prayer? Exactly why and how do people do it? And what is supposed to happen when they do? New York Times best-selling author, Father James Martin of the Society of Jesus joins us with answers in his most recent book “Learning To Pray: A Guide For Everyone.”

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, PATTI ASKWITH KENNER.

> GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL P. ROMAN.

ON MONDAY, JURORS BEGAN HEARING ARGUMENTS IN THE TRIAL OF DEREK CHAUVIN, A FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER CHARGED IN THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD.

THE MAN WAS CAPTURED ON VIDEO KNEELING ON GEORGE FLOYD'S NECK FOR NINE MINUTES, VIDEO WHICH TRIGGERED WIDESPREAD PROTESTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND AROUND THE WORLD AND WHICH WILL NOW PLAY A CENTRAL ROLE IN THE PROCEEDINGS.

WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT FROM A TRIAL WHICH PROMISES TO BE ONE OF THE MOST WATCHED POLICE MISCONDUCT CASES IN HISTORY?

WHAT WILL BE THE ULTIMATE LEGACY OF GEORGE FLOYD'S DEATH?

AND WHERE DO WE GO AS A NATION AFTER THE TRIAL IS OVER?

JOINING US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THAT AND ABOUT THE RISE IN ANTI-ASIAN HATE CRIMES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS PART OF OUR EXPLORING HATE INITIATIVE IS MARK MOREIAL, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

I'M HONORED TO BE WITH YOU ONCE AGAIN.

THE YOU WERE THE MAYOR OF THE GREAT CITY OF NEW ORLEANS FOR EIGHT YEARS.

THE BELOVED CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, MY BELOVED HOMETOWN.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

AND NOW THIS IS YOUR BELOVED HOMETOWN AND WE'RE GLAD TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

LET ME START WITH THIS.

AS I SAID, THE TRIAL OF DEREK CHAUVIN BEGAN MONDAY.

LET ME MAYBE SAY THIS BEFORE I DIRECTLY RESPOND TO YOUR QUESTION.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRIAL IN MODERN AMERICAN HISTORY.

WHAT THIS TRIAL IS REALLY ABOUT, IT'S ABOUT THE JUSTICE SYSTEM.

SO WHILE WE UNDERSTAND IT AS DEREK CHAUVIN, THE MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER WHO MURDERED GEORGE FLOYD BEING ON TRIAL AS TO WHETHER THE SYSTEM WILL HOLD HIM RESPONSIBLE, THIS IS REALLY A QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM THERE IN MINNEAPOLIS SEES AND UNDERSTANDS WHAT MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ALL ACROSS THE WORLD UNDERSTAND WHEN THEY SAW THAT VIDEOTAPE LAST SUMMER, AND THAT IS WHETHER THIS POLICE OFFICER WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD.

AND I THINK WHAT WE WILL SEE IS ON ONE HAND THE PROSECUTION WILL FOCUS ON THE FACT THAT THAT KNEE FOR MORE THAN 8 MINUTES ON THE NECK OF GEORGE FLOYD WAS BOTH AN UNNECESSARY AND UNREASONABLE AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL USE OF FORCE, WHICH ASPHYXIATED HIM AND CAUSED HIS DEATH.

THE DEFENSE, OF COURSE, WILL ARGUE THAT HIS DEATH WAS CAUSED BY TRACE SUBSTANCES OF DRUGS AND NARCOTICS IN GEORGE FLOYD'S SYSTEM.

SO THAT IS NARROWLY WHAT THE LEGAL DISPUTE WILL BE ABOUT.

AND THE DEFENSE, OF COURSE, WILL BE TRYING TO DO, AS EVERY DEFENSE LAWYER TRIES, AND THAT IS TO RAISE SUFFICIENT DOUBT ABOUT THE CAUSE OF DEATH TO ACHIEVE AN ACQUITTAL FOR THEIR CLIENT.

BUT THE RAMIFICATIONS ARE MUCH MORE BROAD.

THERE'S BEEN A PATTERN IN OUR NATION WHERE, FOR THE MOST PART, POLICE OFFICERS WHO KILL UNARMED CITIZENS, PARTICULARLY UNARMED BLACK CITIZENS, HAVE HISTORICALLY AND FOR THE MOST PART CONSISTENTLY NOT BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE BY THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR THEIR MISDEEDS, FOR THEIR MISCONDUCT, FOR THEIR UNREASONABLE AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL USE OF FORCE.

AND SO THAT, TO ME, IS WHAT IS REALLY AT STAKE, IS IT'S A QUESTION OF THE JUSTICE SYSTEM.

NOW, IN AMERICA TODAY I THINK THAT CITIZENS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE CLOSE OBSERVERS ARE PRAYING THAT THIS SYSTEM IS GOING TO CARRY FORTH JUSTICE FOR THIS VICTIM AND FOR HIS FAMILY.

AND WHILE DEREK CHAUVIN IS CERTAINLY ENTITLED TO A FAIR TRIAL, IN THIS CASE ONE OF THE MOST UNUSUAL THINGS OCCURRED.

AND THAT IS THE ENTIRE INCIDENT FROM BEGINNING TO END WAS TAPED BY THIS YOUNG WOMAN.

SO IN EFFECT IT WAS A JURY OF THE WORLD AND A JURY OF THE WORLD HAS METED OUT ITS OPINION.

THAT IS THE QUESTION.

YOU KNOW, THINGS HAVE HAPPENED IN THE PAST AND GIVEN WHAT WE SAW THAT HAPPENED AFTER THE DEATH OF MR. FLOYD LAST SUMMER, I THINK WE CAN ASSUME THAT IF THERE IS AN ACQUITTAL AND I GUESS THAT IS A POSSIBILITY OF COURSE, IT'S A TRIAL, THERE WILL BE MASS DEMONSTRATIONS HERE AND PROBABLY AROUND THE WORLD.

IF THAT HAPPENS, WHAT IS AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THE ONE YOU LEAD, THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS LIKE YOURS DO?

WE WANT PEOPLE TO EMBRACE THE DESIRES OF THE FAMILY AND THE TRADITIONS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING.

AND WE ALL WILL PARTICIPATE PEACEFULLY AND IN PROPOST.

I DON'T WANT TO PREJUDGE THIS JURY.

I DON'T WANT TO PREJUDGE THIS JUDGE.

INSTINCTIVELY SOME MAY WISH TO, BUT I WANT TO GIVE THIS JURY AN OPPORTUNITY.

IT'S A POSITIVE THING THAT THE TRIAL IS BEING CARRIED LIVE ON TELEVISION.

I'VE BEEN TAKING A PEEK.

IT'S BEEN ON HERE ALL DAY ALTHOUGH THE SOUND HAS BEEN DOWN WHILE I WORK, SO THAT PEOPLE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE PRESENT AND TRANSPARENCY IS NECESSARY IN THESE TIMES FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE MORE CONFIDENCE IN THE WORK INSIDE OF A COURTROOM AND SOMETIMES TO UNDERSTAND HOW CHALLENGING IT IS TO PRESENT THESE TYPES OF CASES.

BUT THE WORLD IS WATCHING.

NOT ONLY ARE CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATES WATCHING, NOT ONLY IS THE BLACK COMMUNITY WATCHING, THE WORLD IS WATCHING THIS TRIAL.

GEORGE FLOYD'S DEATH, OF COURSE, LED TO PROFOUND REFLECTIONS ABOUT RACISM IN THIS COUNTRY AND APPARENTLY TO THE BEGINNING OF DEEP TRANSFORMATIONS ABOUT HOW WE SEE RACE IN THIS COUNTRY AND RACIAL JUSTICE.

FIRST OF ALL, WHY DO YOU THINK THAT THIS PARTICULAR TRAGIC INSTANCE WAS A CATALYST FOR THE KIND OF REFLECTION AND TRANSFORMATION WE SAW?

AND, SECONDLY, WILL THE TRANSFORMATIONS AND THE REFLECTIONS CONTINUE?

THIS IS WHAT'S SO IMPORTANT.

THIS WAS DIFFERENT BECAUSE PEOPLE GOT A CHANCE TO SEE IT FROM BEGINNING TO END.

THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO MAKE A JUDGMENT AS TO WHETHER I BELIEVED THE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF A CITIZEN OR A VICTIM OR A POLICE OFFICER.

THEY SAW IT.

AND PEOPLE HAVE GREAT COMMON SENSE.

AND THEY WERE TOUCHED AND OFFENDED BY THE ACTIONS OF THAT POLICE OFFICER.

AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT MADE THIS SO DIFFERENT.

AND THE FACT THAT THIS WAS NOT A SHOOTING WITH A GUN.

YOU COULD SEE THAT GEORGE FLOYD WAS NOT RESISTING, FIGHTING, PUSHING BACK.

I THINK WHAT PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD AND HEARD THAT THE SO-CALLED OFFENSE FOR WHICH HE WAS INITIALLY INVESTIGATED WAS MINOR AND MINUSCULE AND A MISDEMEANOR.

IT ADDED INSULT TO INJURY.

I WOULD ALSO ADD IT COMES ON THE HEELS OF TRAYVON MARTIN AND TAMIR RICE AND FILL LAN DOUGH CASTILE AND A WHOLE HOST OF INCIDENTS OF POLICE MISCONDUCT.

IT'S BEEN A WAKEUP CALL.

WILL THE MOMENT BECOME A MOVEMENT?

THE TRANSFORMATION THAT WE SEE HAS CAUSED REFLECTION, IT'S CAUSED ANGER, IT'S CAUSED A DEEP UNDERSTANDING.

AND COINCIDING WITH COVID AND THE DISPARITIES THAT COVID UNMASKS, MANY AMERICANS AND PEOPLE ACROSS THE WORLD UNDERSTAND THAT THE 64 CIVIL RIGHTS ACT AND THE 65 VOTING RIGHTS ACT AND THE MOVEMENT OF THE 1960s CARRIED US A STEP FARTHER, BUT DID NOT END RACISM.

WE DID NOT FULLY OVERCOME THE LONG VESTIGES OF SLAVERY AND SEGREGATION IN THIS COUNTRY.

LET ME TURN QUICKLY TO THE DRAMATIC RISE IN HATE CRIMES AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS.

QUICKLY TELL ME WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE CAUSES FOR THIS DRAMATIC RISE OVER THE LAST YEAR, AND WHAT ARE THE SOLUTIONS.

I THINK ONE OF THE GREAT CAUSES WAS THE RHETORIC OF PRESIDENT TRUMP IN BLAMING THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND PEOPLE OF ASIAN DESCENT FOR THE PANDEMIC, WHICH WAS NOT ONLY INACCURATE, ANOTHER BIG LIE AND UNFORTUNATE.

I THINK WHEN LEADERS ENABLE THIS TYPE OF DIVISIVE RHETORIC, WHEN LEADERS ENABLE THIS TYPE OF RACIAL STEREOTYPING AND CHARACTERIZATION, IT HAS AN EFFECT.

I THINK THE FORMER PRESIDENT'S WORD WORDS.

WHETHER IT'S ANTI-SEMITISM, ISLAMIC PHOBIA THEY ARE ALL THE FRUIT OF THE SAME POISONOUS TREE.

THAT'S WHY WE ALL MUST STAND AGAINST IT.

CAN I ADD THIS?

IT'S CLEAR THAT DONALD TRUMP'S RHETORIC APPARENTLY EXACERBATED THE ANIMUS AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS IN THIS COUNTRY.

BUT THERE'S MORE TO IT THAN THAT.

YOU'RE RIGHT.

BECAUSE ASIAN AMERICANS HAVE TOLD US THAT.

I'M MARRIED TO AN ASIAN WOMAN AND I KNOW THAT LONG BEFORE --

DEEP SEEDED, DEEPLY INGRAINED.

SO WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THAT?

I THINK WE ALL HAVE TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST IT.

I THINK WE HAVE TO STAND WITH OUR ASIAN AMERICAN, IF YOU WILL, NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS AND CITIZENS AND RESIDENTS OF THIS COUNTRY.

I THINK WE HAVE TO ENSURE THAT WHEN THESE INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE TAKE PLACE, THAT LAW ENFORCEMENT DOES ITS JOB AND THAT THE PERPETRATORS ARE INVESTIGATED AND PROSECUTED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, THAT THERE BE ACCOUNTABILITY.

BUT I ALSO BELIEVE LONG-TERM WE HAVE TO DO FAR MORE IN THIS COUNTRY TO EDUCATION THE YOUNG AND REEDUCATE MANY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS THAT ASIAN AMERICANS, LATINOS, BLACKS, NATIVE AMERICANS AND AMERICAN INDIANS HAVE MADE IN THIS NATION.

ONE OF THE DRIVERS OF THIS IS THE MARGINALIZATION OF THE GREAT CONTRIBUTIONS THAT ASIAN AMERICANS HAVE MADE IN THE FIELD OF SCIENCE, IN THE FIELD OF BUSINESS, IN THE FIELD OF POLITICS.

I COULD CONTINUE TO GO ON, IN LITERARY FIELDS.

SO WE MARGINALIZE THOSE CONTRIBUTIONS AND, THEREFORE, WE DIMINISH THE INTEGRITY OF THESE COMMUNITIES.

SO LET'S STOP AAPI HATE.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO END IT THERE BECAUSE WE'RE ALL OUT OF TIME.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

> WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL P. ROMAN.

YOU KNOW, AT A TIME WHEN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC HAS KILLED MILLIONS AND TURNED OUR LIVES UPSIDE DOWN, AND AT A TIME WHEN POLITICAL TURMOIL HAS ALL TOO OFTEN TURNED AMERICAN AGAINST AMERICAN AND EVEN FRIEND AGAINST FRIEND, MANY OF US HAVE FRANKLY TURNED TO PRAYER.

BUT WHAT IS PRAYER?

AND IF WE DO PRAY, WHY EXACTLY DO WE PRAY, HOW DO WE PRAY AND WHAT'S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN WHEN WE PRAY?

JOINING US NOW TO ANSWER THESE AND OTHER QUESTIONS IS 'NEW YORK TIMES' BEST-SELLING AUTHOR DR.

JAMES MARTIN, WHOSE MOST RECENT BOOK IS TITLED 'LEARNING TO PRAY, A GUIDE FOR EVERYONE.'

MARTIN, WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

IT'S ALWAYS SO GREAT TO TALK TO YOU.

MY PLEASURE, RAFAEL.

ALWAYS GREAT TO BE WITH YOU.

FATHER, THE BOOK IS RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

IT'S A WONDERFUL READ.

I RECOMMEND IT.

THE TITLE OF IT IS 'LEARNING TO PRAY, A GUIDE FOR EVERYONE.'

THAT'S A PRETTY BOLD CLAIM.

DOES EVERYONE INCLUDE NON-BELIEVERS?

COULD THEY READ THIS BOOK TOO?

A NON-BELIEVER COULD.

I THINK A CURIOUS NON-BELIEVER.

IT'S DEFINITELY FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO ENTER INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, BUT I WOULD SAY THAT CERTAINLY INCLUDES AGNOSTICS AND SEEKERS, PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPLORING HOW TO COME TO KNOW GOD BETTER AND ALSO TO LET GOD COME TO KNOW THEM.

WHAT IS PRAYER?

IS THE ANSWER TO THAT OBVIOUS?

NO.

I MEAN, THERE'S LOTS OF DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS.

ONE OF THE FAMOUS ONES IS A RAISING OF THE HEART AND MIND TO GOD, MUTUAL CONVERSATION.

I LIKE TO THINK OF IT AS A CONSCIENCE CONVERSATION WITH GOD.

IT'S A KIND OF BACK AND FORTH.

IT INCLUDES TALKING TO GOD, BUT IT ALSO INCLUDES LISTENING TO GOD, WHICH SEEMS VERY MYSTERIOUS, BUT THAT'S LISTENING IN YOUR DAILY LIFE FOR SIGNS OF GOD'S PRESENCE AND LISTENING IN YOUR PRAYER AS WELL.

IT'S ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP.

YOU'RE WRITE ABOUT MANY KINF PRAYERS.

SOME OF THEM ARE FASCINATING.

THE ONE KIND OF PRAYER THAT MOST OF US ARE FAMILIAR WITH THAT YOU WRITE ABOUT IS THE PRAYER OF PETITION, THE ONE WE'VE OFTEN HEARD EVEN ATHEISTS PRACTICE IN THE FOX HOLE.

YOU SAY IT'S TOO OFTEN SELFISH OR THAT IT CAN BE.

MIGHT IT NOT BE OFF PUTTIN ITIN FOR GOD TO PRAY FOR A RAISE WHEN WE KNOW AT THE VERY SAME TIME THERE ARE MILLIONS STARVING, THERE ARE THOUSANDS BEING TORTURED AND KILLED.

I THINK IT'S OKAY TO ASK FOR THINGS.

AS LONG AS YOU KEEP THOSE THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE, THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WORSE OFF THAN YOU ARE, BUT IT'S ALSO PART OF BEING IN AN HONEST RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

THINK OF SOMETHING LIKE PRAYING FOR THE VACCINE, SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

THAT'S SOMETHING YOU WANT FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDS.

TO NOT PRAY ABOUT IT IN A SENSE WOULD BE A BLOCK BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, BECAUSE IT WOULD BE LIKE NOT SAYING SOMETHING THAT'S REALLY ON YOUR HEART.

I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO BE HONEST WITH GOD, BUT TO KIND OF KEEP IT IN PERSPECTIVE.

FATHER, WHAT ABOUT GOD ANSWERING OR NOT ANSWERING YOUR PRAYERS?

IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, JESUS SAYS, 'ASK AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN YOU, SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND, KNOCK AND IT WILL BE OPEN FOR YOU, EVERYONE WHO SEEKS SHALL FIND AND TO THOSE WHO KNOCK IT SHALL BE OPEN.'

FOR MOST CHRISTIANS, IT DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE OUR EXPERIENCE THAT THE MAJORITY OF OUR PRAYERS DON'T SEEM TO BE ANSWERED.

WHAT'S YOUR ANSWER TO THAT?

I THINK THAT IS FAIR TO SAY.

I THINK WE HAVE TO BE CLEAR ABOUT THAT.

CHRISTIANS AND OTHER PEOPLE OF FAITH GRAPPLE WITH THAT.

IF YOU PRAY FOR SOMEONE NOT TO DIE AND THEY DIE, IT SEEMS LIKE YOUR PRAYERS HAVE NOT BEEN ANSWERED.

I THINK THE MOST HONEST EXPLANATION IS THAT IT'S A MYSTERY.

WE DON'T KNOW WHY SOME PRAYERS SEEM TO BE ANSWERED AND SOME PRAYERS SEEM NOT TO BE ANSWERED.

THE KEY IS CAN YOU STILL BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THAT GOD EVEN IF YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND GOD.

I THINK A LOT OF PRAYER IS ABOUT HONESTY, TRUST IN GOD AND ACCEPTANCE WITH WHATEVER COMES.

THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION IS IT REALLY IS A MYSTERY.

SO, FATHER, WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN WHEN WE PRAY?

WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE OUR EXPERIENCE WHEN WE PRAY?

THAT'S ONE OF THE REASONS I WROTE THE BOOK.

MOST PEOPLE, THEY SIT DOWN, THEY CLOSE THEIR EYES AND THEY SAY NOTHING HAPPENS.

IN THE BOOK I TALK ABOUT THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF THINGS THAT CAN COME UP IN PRAYER.

IF YOU'RE PRAYING ABOUT A SCRIPTURE PASSAGE, MAYBE EMOTIONS WILL COME UP, DESIRES TO FOLLOW GOD MORE CLOSELY, INSIGHTS ARE IMPORTANT IN PRAYER, A FEELING OF CALM, SOMETIMES WORDS AND PHRASES COME UP.

ALL OF THESE THINGS CAN COME IN PRAYER AND THE KEY IS TO BE ABLE TO DISCERN WHAT'S COMING FROM GOD AND WHAT MIGHT BE W WISH FULFILLMENT WITH MYSELF.

THAT WAS MY FOLLOWING QUESTION.

HOW DO WE KNOW IT'S NOT ALL PSYCHOLOGICAL?

WE'RE CREATING A STORY ABOUT WHAT GOD IS TELLING US AND ABOUT OUR LIVES.

WISHFUL THINKING.

THAT'S CERTAINLY A DANGER.

TO BE CLEAR, NOT EVERYTHING THAT POPS INTO YOUR HEAD IS SOME MESSAGE FROM GOD.

IF YOU'RE PRAYING ABOUT SOMEONE YOU'RE ANGRY AT AND YOU FEEL LIKE PUNCHING THEM IN THE FACE, I WOULD SAY THAT'S PROBABLY NOT COMING FROM GOD.

I THINK PEOPLE HAVE EXPERIENCED ENOUGH, THE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW AND THE PEOPLE THAT COME TO ME FOR COUNSELLING, THEY EXPERIENCE GOD'S VOICE IN THEIR PRAYER ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY IT.

FOR EXAMPLE, IT LEADS TO AN INCREASE OF LOVE AND CHARITY, IT MAKES SENSE, IT GIVES THEM CONSOLATION, IT'S LONG LASTING.

THE MORE YOU ARE ABLE TO DISCERN THAT, THE BETTER YOU ARE AT RECOGNIZING WHAT'S COMING FROM GOD AND WHAT MIGHT JUST BE WISH FULFILLMENT.

GOD DOES COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE IN PRAYER IN SOMETIMES VERY SUBTLE WAYS AND SOMETIMES VERY OVERT WAYS.

YOU'VE BEEN A JESUIT FOR 30 YEARS.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD THAT MOMENT WHERE YOU'VE SAID HAVE I JUST BEEN TALKING TO MYSELF ALL THESE YEARS?

SOMETIMES IN MY PRAYER I HAVE TO SAY WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM.

IN TIME YOU GET TO KNOW WHAT GOD OES V GOD'S VOICE IS LIKE.

I OFTEN SAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PANDEMIC GOD'S VOICE IS THAT VOICE OF HOPE.

THE VOICE THAT'S NOT COMING FROM GOD IS THE VOICE OF DESPAIR.

THAT'S A VERY SIMPLE ILLUSTRATION OF HOW WE CAN KIND OF DISCERN WHAT GOD 'S VOICE IS

IF WE ACCEPT THERE IS A SPIRITUAL DIMENSION THAT WE ARE IN COMMUNICATION WITH, CAN WE ALWAYS DISCERN THAT THE VOICE THAT WE'RE HEARING, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, IS COMING FROM GOD RATHER THAN FROM WHAT I THINK THE JESUITS CALL THE EVIL SPIRIT?

THE EVIL SPIRIT OR THE EVIL ONE IS VERY WISE, HE KNOWS HOW TO LIE.

YEAH.

THEY CALL SATAN THE PRINCE OF LIES.

YEAH, IT IS WITH PRACTICE.

AGAIN, IT'S AN ART MORE THAN A SCIENCE.

TO USE THE PANDEMIC IMAGE, IF YOU ARE PRAYING AND ONE DAY YOU FEEL LIKE EVERYTHING'S HOPELESS, THIS IS AWFUL, I'M NEVER GOING TO SUCCEED, WE'RE NEVER GOING TO SURMEOUNT THIS AND YOU FEEL LOW AND DESPAIRING AND HOPELESS, I WOULD SAY THAT IS NOT WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT GOD.

IF THE NEXT DAY YOU HAVE THIS SENSE OF UPLIFT AND SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING CONSOLING TO YOU AND SOMETHING ENCOURAGING AND YOU FEEL A SENSE OF HOPE, THAT IS WHAT GOD IS.

WE FIT WHAT WE HEAR IN PRAYER WITH WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT GOD TOO.

THAT'S ANOTHER WAY OF KIND OF COMING TO UNDERSTAND.

EVENTUALLY YOU RECOGNIZE THAT VOICE IN YOURSELF.

WHEN I WAS READING THIS IN YOUR BOOK, I WAS THINKING OF THAT FAMOUS PICTURE OF THE ANTICHRIST, WHO LOOKS JUST LIKE JESUS CHRIST.

MAYBE THE THINGS THAT YOU'RE TOLD ARE VERY SIMILAR TO GOOD THINGS OR THINGS THAT YOU BELIEVE ARE GOOD, STEERING YOU IN THE WRONG PLACE WHERE YOU MAY THINK IT'S THE RIGHT PLACE.

THAT'S WHERE ST. IGNATIUS, THE FOUNDER OF THE JESUITS SAYS SEE WHERE YOU'VE BEEN LED.

IF YOU ARE LED DOWN THAT GARDEN PATH AND YOU END UP IN A BAD SPOT BY LISTENING TO THE WRONG IMPULSES IN YOU, YOU HAVE TO SAY I'VE BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD BEFORE AND I'M NOT GOING TO GO THE NEXT TIME I'M TEMPTED THAT WAY.

AS MY CURRENT SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR LIKES TO SAY, ON THE SURFACE IT SEEMS GOOD, SOME OF THESE THINGS THAT AREN'T GOOD FOR US, BECAUSE OTHERWISE WE'D JUST REJECT THEM.

A LOT OF THINGS WE'RE SOMETIMES TECHLTED TO DO SEEM ON THE FACE OF THEM GOOD.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE WHEN WE BEGIN TO ENGAGE IN SERIOUS PRAYER LIFE?

I THINK JUST THAT IT'S KNOWING WHAT IS COMING FROM GOD, BUT IT'SES A S ALSO TRUSTING TH WANTS TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU AND ALSO BEING OKAY WITH DRY TIMES.

EVERYBODY FACES DRY TIMES IN PRAYER WHERE YOU SIT DOWN AND IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE MUCH IS HAPPENING.

IT'S LIKE ANY RELATIONSHIP.

EVERY TIME YOU GO OUT WITH A FRIEND IT'S NOT GOING TO BE ALL BELLS AND WHISTLES AND CONSTANT LAUGHTER.

SOMETIMES IT WILL BE KIND OF ORDINARY.

AND PRAYER IS LIKE THAT TO.

YOU HAVE TO BE OPEN THE SAME WITH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

YOU TALK ABOUT THE SEVEN Ds.

IT'S DISCERNING BETWEEN STUFF LIKE DEPRESSION, DESOLATION, DESPAIR, DRYNESS.

A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE LUMP THOSE TOGETHER.

THEY SAY BECAUSE MY PRAYER IS DRY, THEN I MUST BE DEPRESSED.

SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE CLINICALLY DEPRESSED CAN HAVE VERY RICH PRAYER LIVES.

IT'S MAKING SURE YOU'RE IDENTIFYING WHICH IS WHICH.

YOU WRITE THAT PRAYER IS SUPPOSED TO CHANGE US, THAT IT SHOULD MOVE US INTO ACTION.

HOW SHOULD IT CHANGE US?

AND WHAT ACTION SHOULD IT MOVE US TO?

I THINK ARISTOTLE SAID WE BECOME LIKE THAT WHICH WE CONTEMPLATE.

IMAGINE SPENDING TIME WITH JESUS FOR THE CHRISTIAN.

YOU WOULD HOPE THAT SPENDING TIME WITH JESUS WOULD MAKE YOU MORE CHRIST-LIKE, MAKE YOU MEASUMORE LOVING.

WHAT HAPPENS IS GOD KIND OF MOVES US.

IF WE'RE REALLY OPEN TO PRAYER AND WE'RE PRAYING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE SUFFERING LIKE REFUGEES OR THE HOMELESS OR MIGRANTS AND WE FEEL OUR HEART MOVE, THAT'S GOD WORKING WITHIN US.

PAY ATTENTION TO THAT AND LET GOD ACT WITHIN US AND RESPOND TO THAT.

SEE IT AS A CALL AND REALLY RESPOND.

IF SOMEONE WATCHING US RIGHT NOW IS INSPIRED BY THIS CONVERSATION, WANTS TO BEGIN PRAYER, WHERE SHOULD THEY ACTUALLY BEGIN?

BY TRUSTING THAT THAT DESIRE AND INSPIRATION IS COMING FROM GOD.

TO START OFF ON THE JOURNEY, I THINK MY BOOK WILL HELP, 'LEARNING TO PRAY.'

IT'S NOT JUST YOUR BEING CURIOUS.

IT'S GOD'S CALL TO YOU.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WRITE THIS BOOK?

BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE THINK THAT PRAYER IS FOR THE OTHER PERSON OR THAT THEY'RE THE ONLY ONES THAT HAVE TROUBLE PRAYING.

SO I WANTED TO GIVE PEOPLE SOME COMFORT IN THEIR PRAYER LIFE.

THE BOOK IS 'LEARNING TO PRAY, A GUIDE FOR EVERYONE.'

I READ IT.

IT MOVED ME AND I RECOMMEND IT STRONGLY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

MY PLEASURE ALWAYS.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND.

BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION AND BY -- JANET PRINDLE SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD, CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON, AND THE DR. ROBERT C.

AND TINA SOHN FOUNDATION, PATTI ASKWITH KENNER.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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