View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Prayer in action

The other day I posted at another site about a prayer initiative calling for prayers for the Rochester community.

Someone responded that what Rochester needs is action, not prayers.

I agreed that the community needs action, but that it also needs prayer. The two belong together.

Looking back at history, that has clearly been the case. People of faith - people of prayer - have seen a need, and responded.

In Rochester, for example, they created programs and agencies to help the homeless, battered women, people in need of health care, seniors, the dying, and more.

Think of such places as the Mercy Center, DePaul, the St. Joseph Neighborhood Center, the Open Door Mission, the Salvation Army, Bethany House, the Mercy Center with the Aging, Andrew's Center, Francis House, the Catholic Family Center, Ss. Peter and Paul Soup Kitchen, and more.

All created by people of prayer.

If you look at the nation's top charities (as listed by Forbes), we see a similar pattern of prominent agencies created by people of prayer: The Red Cross, Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, the YMCA, Feed the Children, Goodwill USA, Food for the Hungry, and more.

Prayer and action. The two belong together.

Granted, some of these agencies and programs are no longer directly tied to one religion or another, but that does not negate how they began. Prayer and faith being put into direct action.

We are blessed as a nation to have so many people of prayer reaching out to others.


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