Pray for Peace, and Pray for Our Police

As one police officer says, “We have to start kneeling at church before God.”

Police attend the annual Blue Mass at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, May 5, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The Blue Mass is held annually for those in law enforcement and first responders.
Police attend the annual Blue Mass at Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, May 5, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The Blue Mass is held annually for those in law enforcement and first responders. (photo: Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Police brutality is wrong. Attacking all police officers over the misdeeds of a few is wrong too. Yet, here we are. We are seeing a commitment for reform throughout the nation, yet there is much brokenness and anger that needs healing.

I posted a meme on Facebook of the dog character Chase from the cartoon Paw Patrol in reaction to people calling for the cartoon to be canceled because the animated police dog is portrayed as good. Someone commented, “Cartoon dogs have a higher standing than black people, apparently.”

This person further explained her viewpoint:

Children are getting a false sense of trust in people who are actually dangerous. It’s going to be harder for those children — as it is for you and your friends — to understand the system of policing as an intrinsically dangerous and violent system — because these children will have it conditioned in their minds from infancy — as you and your friends have — ‘doggy cop good.’ This is called ‘indoctrination’ and this is what white supremacy is. White people have been conditioned from birth to believe that we are superior and that the suffering that other races experience is due to some flaw that they possess in their character.

But many law enforcement officers and their families have another perspective.

Angela Underwood Jacobs recently spoke out about her brother and federal police officer Dave Patrick Underwood, a black man fatally shot during a violent protest in Oakland. “My heart and my family’s heart is broken,” she said.

“There has been so much talk regarding George Floyd and his family, which is fine. However, I think at the same time, my brother should be recognized as well for literally going into work every day and putting his life on the line for us. It saddens me that his memory hasn’t been as prevalent in the news and media as I think it should be.”

Julian Sage was a Detroit police officer for 22 years, eight of them training other officers. He now works with the Detroit Transportation Corporation police, managing problems on buses and the rail line in a city of 800,000 residents.

In 2003, Sage had a conversion of heart that gave him a new perspective on the difficulties that came with his job. “The Eucharist became very important and I developed a devotion to the Holy Rosary,” he said. “It helps to be more fortified in your faith and find moments when the Holy Spirit gives you graces to practice heroic virtue — to have fortitude and offer up hardships and see people around you suffering so you try to be merciful.”

“The enemy is sitting back laughing as groups mock authority,” he said. “It is the beginning stages of societal breakdown. We have to recognize truth for what it is and no longer kneel on the streets but start kneeling at church before God.”

Another man, a former Marine (he prefers not to be named) with relatives and friends who have served in law enforcement, two of whom were killed in the line of duty, recently sent out a social media appeal, asking people to pray the St. Michael Prayer for our police:

St. Michael the Archangel, 
defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

I second his request to pray for law enforcement officers, and I would also like to add another intention: Please also pray for the agitators, that their passion for justice be conformed to the image of Christ.