We are facing times in need of prayer. Our community and nation are currently facing tremendous challenges with financial burdens, and wartime, with stress to our American values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am worried about our social network that was first envisioned by FDR with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
I am a social worker who helps support those with developmental and intellectual disabilities for The Arc of the Piedmont. The United States started the system of Medicaid to help serve the poor and disabled in this country in 1965. It is the primary funding to help support people with disabilities with half funded federally and half funded by the state. When it was started there were 8 workers helping to support each person in the system, and today there are only 3 people to support each person. This is clearly a system that will go bankrupt without some new ideas, but I am frustrated that I see no ideas proposed to fix the system or get a new system. Medicaid already offers minimal services to its beneficiaries and to cut its budget means the poor and disabled will be hurt.
Perhaps prayer may offer some way that we can find guidance through God for answers to help the poor and disabled in America and around the world. I always try to keep the priorities in life by remembering The Beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on The Mount from the Gospel of Matthew:
- the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
- they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
- the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
- they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
- the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
- the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
- the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
- they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I would like to suggest a very fine prayer inspired by Saint Francis when you are in time of need:
- Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
- Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
- Where there is injury, pardon.
- Where there is doubt, faith.
- Where there is despair, hope.
- Where there is darkness, light.
- Where there is sadness, joy.
- O Divine Master,
- grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
- to be understood, as to understand;
- to be loved, as to love.
- For it is in giving that we receive.
- It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
- and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
- Amen. (Sarah McLachlan sings this prayer below)
- My cousin, Monsignor Charles Pope, spoke at the White House five years ago during National Prayer Day. He urged the importance of prayer, and I urge you to view his speech in the You Tube video in his recent blog with the Archdiocese of Washington.