Prayers in Time of Need

Praying Hands-(Photo by Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images)

(Photo by Wathiq Khuzaie)

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:

Blessed Are:

  • 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.

Jerusalem Cross

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.

Archdiocese of Washington Blog–The Saving Power of Prayer

I recently wrote about my favorite prayer–The Rosary, in a recent posting

God Bless,

John

 

 

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Hunger & Charity in Our Community

It is a time of great hunger and difficulties for the poor and middle class in our community with the rising costs of energy, housing, and food.  Our local food banks have been seeing a rise in the demand for food from Charlottesville and surrounding areas.

The cost of food have driven many to ask our local food banks for more to feed their families.  Corn has soared 52% the past 12 months. Sugar’s up 60%. Soybeans have jumped 41%. And wheat costs 24% more than it did a year ago.

The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank currently serves 145,000 people in our area each year.  Right now, one in ten people in our community do not know where they will get their next meal.  The Blue Ridge Area Food bank did a detailed study in 2010 and found the following:

• 43% of the members of households served by The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Inc are children under 18 years old.

• 11% of the members of households are children age 0 to 5 years.

• 7% of the members of households are elderly.

• About 68% of clients are non-Hispanic white, 24% are non-Hispanic black, 5% are Hispanic, and the rest are from other racial groups.

• 43% of households include at least one employed adult.

• 74% have incomes below the federal poverty level.

• 6% are homeless.

On the weekend of June 18-19, at local area grocery stores, The Church of the Incarnation in cooperation with area volunteers and Boy Scouts, helped collect over 12,ooo pounds of food and over $3,000 for the Emergency Food Bank and the parish food ministry.  This represents 20% of the food distributed in a year from the Emergency Food Bank who provides a 3-day supply of nutritional meals to individuals and families in need.  The Emergency Food Bank provides meals to the Bright Stars children’s program as well as the PACEM program for the homeless.  A big thanks goes to Patrick Cottrell and his family who helped organize this food drive.

The Church of the Incarnation started a Food Assistance Program to help serve Hispanic families, and is now going to expand this program to anyone in need.  This is a wonderful program that is supported by donations from individuals and local farmers who help supply produce, groceries, and funding.  If you are interested in volunteering or donating to this program, or know someone in need, please contact the Coordinator for Justice and Charity, Kristen Schenk at (434) 973-4381.

NBC produced an informative report about childhood hunger following is Part 1 of 3 of this report:

Please consider helping our local food banks through your kind donations of time, money, and prayers.  Any contribution you make can be a BIG help:

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

 

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

 

Emergency Food Bank

Emergency Food Bank of Charlottesville/Albemarle

 

Church of the Incarnation–Justice & Charity

 

Isaiah

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The Church and New Media

There is a fantastic new book coming out called The Church and New Media by Brandon Vogt.  Brandon Vogt is a Catholic blogger himself who writes the blog called The Thin Veil.  He has gotten many prominent people working in Catholic new media using blogs, Twitter, You Tube, television, and websites to contribute chapters.  There are eleven authors of chapters in the book including SQPN’s Lisa Hendey, Word on Fire’s Fr. Robert Barron, Catholic TV’s Scot Landry, and media spokesperson Shawn Carney.

The content of this book is meant to help Christians to reach out with this new media and to educate and inspire.  The chapters look to have good tools and ideas for authors and producers:  Lisa Hendey writes: That They May Be One: Cultivating Online Community, Fr. Barron writes: The Virtual Areopagus: Digital Dialogue with the Unchurched, and Shawn Carney writes: Moving Mountains:  Building a Digital Movement.  This book will be coming out soon and is currently taking pre-orders (links below).

The Church and New Media

The Thin Veil

Thanks also to Waldo for adding my blog to C-ville Blogs

God Bless,

John Clem

www.calltoholiness.us

 

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