For several days, I have been talking about the agonizing reality of hunger in America. Over one-third of the country, 17 states, have more than 20% of their children living in food insecure households. This means inadequate learning ability, poor health and lives that are not properly developed. This is very sad but let me turn to something more positive – the need for prayer.
Most Americans believe in God but we are all over the place when it comes to our conversations with him. Most Americans would not consider themselves and many protest that it is rather difficult to talk to God since so often it seems to be a one-sided conversation. God is our friend. God loves each one of us individually with an infinite, all consuming love. If we can grasp that wonderful fact, that conversation with God should not be difficult at all. We should talk to Him about what it is that we are happy about, what causes us our distress, what we need to do in order to get through the next week or the next month, and about our concern for that high school nephew who is suspected of having cancer. While this conversation should take place rather easily, because it is based on love and acceptance by God. However, it is necessary to try to discipline ourselves to keep this conversation ongoing in our life. We should try to think about God and talk to Him briefly as we awaken in the morning and the same when we are shutting ourselves down at the end of the day. When wonderful things happen in the course of the day – we see a new grandchild, an extraordinary movie, make the right turn on the freeway thus avoiding a back traffic jam – we should try to instinctively thank God for his blessings and his gifts. When things go wrong, we should almost instantly turn to God who has created, who sustains us, who loves us and will carry us through life’s difficulties.
Prayer is necessary and prayer is easy. As the priest says repeatedly at Sunday Mass, “Let us pray.”