By Mary O’KEEFE
“Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.”
~President Franklin D. Roosevelt, June 6, 1944
Much of FDR’s radio broadcast on D-Day was in the form of a prayer. He knew that the road ahead was long and that people would be frightened of what the future held.
During times of war and uncertainty it is not uncommon for people to turn to prayer and reflection to find comfort and strength.
The terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino have many on edge and turning to the church to find answers and to make sense of senseless violence.
According to Catholic News Service, Pope Francis shared his thoughts of the terrorist attacks on Paris on Nov. 16.
“Such barbarity leaves us dismayed, and we ask ourselves how the human heart can plan and carry out such horrible events,” Pope Francis said. “The path of violence and hatred cannot resolve the problems of humanity, and using the name of God to justify this path is blasphemy.”
For Rev. Beverly Craig at the Center for Spiritual Living in La Crescenta, the question of how to comfort others in times of uncertainty is not a question of finding something new but to rely on the foundation of belief.
“We believe Daily Spiritual Practices, i.e. prayer/meditation/inspirational reading, is necessary for individuals to be peaceful,” Craig said. “We believe that as we have faith and trust in the All-Good of God and not judge by appearances as Jesus taught, peacefulness throughout the world will reign. We believe that when the critical mass of peacefulness among individuals and the nations of the earth prevail, we’ll no longer experience the tragedies that we are now experiencing. We believe this is the true meaning of Isaiah 11:6: ‘The lion shall lay down with the lamb.’”
Craig and her congregation also find the power of prayer through the power of numbers.
“In addition to prayer for the various situations that have happened, we also have an annual World Healing Meditation held at 4 a.m. the morning of Dec. 31. This is a practice that is held all over the world at Noon Greenwich time when people simultaneously pray the World Healing Meditation.”