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Every week Sacred Space offers you “Something to think about” as you prepare to pray. Here we offer you a glimpse of some of what others have thought about our reflections.
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Gerry O’Hanlon SJ, author of The recession and God reflects on praying in recessionary times

I meet many people who are worried and fed up these days. There seems to be no end to the bad news – unemployment rising, pensions wiped out, uncertainty everywhere and an ugly mood of discontent. I wonder was it like this for Job? Or for the Psalmist who asked ‘how long must we wait?’

Funny how that visit to my 86 year old Uncle Rory last week was one of God’s ways of helping me to see things in a different light. Rory lived with my dad and the rest of their large family in a 3-storey house in Hardwick Street, in the heart of Dublin, back in the 1920s. He described how they had a toilet and tap in the yard: there they washed, and fetched water in a bucket for the cooking. “It was all we knew”, he said “and we were happy”.

I know, Lord, that Rory is not some kind of grumpy Luddite, full of nostalgia for times past. He appreciates so much the real progress we have made, the beautiful houses we live in. But he does regret the passing of those other values which affluence has tended to suppress – like the time we had for one another, the kind of solidarity which excessive competition destroys. I can understand better now what the French poet Charles Péguy meant when he wrote that ‘everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics’.

And so, Lord, help me like Job to be patient, to listen to the many reassurances of Jesus telling me ‘do not be afraid’, to imagine a future in which economic growth will seek a ‘richness of sufficiency’ which will respect our planet and the common good of all – rich and poor – who live on it. Help me to believe that this is possible, because in the resurrection of Jesus you have shown that evil is, in the end, defeated. Fill me with confident hope in your love.

40 Responses to “Praying in the recession”

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  1. Michael :

    This is the first time I have viewed these comments, nice to see others that beleive in Our Lord Jesus. I work in a nonprofit organization and I take calls every day of the poor who are losing there homes and apartments and / or are homeless and looking for some relief. It is amazing that in all these calls daily very very few are in despair I believe this is because they have faith in Jesus and know that this world is temporary, I think we have a lesson to learn from the poor. We need to be satisfied with our position in life no matter what that position might be. Never despise the Lord for the role that he has given you to play. God bless you all and keep working to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.


  2. From Connecticut :

    I haven’t been on this site in years and really like the revisions. Just 10 minutes ago I turned off the television news with similar thoughts, “this summer really was nothing but a bunch of bad news”. Trying to keep our faith with youth dying while old express their death wishes, planes crashing, car accidents after bad choices made, etc…….. and as a friend said once when I question why —- if I knew, it wouldn’t be called F A I T H !!! Let us pray for one another because I really feel that all this bad news is becoming the snow ball affect and fear seems to be the driving force.


  3. Bob R :

    I like to think that all events in my life (manufactured and natural ) have something to teach me on the importance of moving closer to God. A breakthrough to my persistent resistance to the Truth. Having said that, it still hurts big time when things go south.
    God Bless to everyone hurting out there. Peace and Love


  4. James :

    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Jesus is my anchor, my rock, without Him I am nothing. God in His great love and mercy has allowed me to live to old age. Soon I will see Him in all His glory. In the meantime I must busy myself with doing God’s work. If only people would realize how much God loves them individually… he desires to be intimate with them… walk with them throughout their day. What a friend we have in Jesus. Thank you Sacred Space for providing the oppertunity each day to encounter this awesome, loving God who sustains all of creation yet still finds time for me.


  5. Grace :

    Thank you for this special medium to express oneself. I am visiting sacred space for the first time and no doubt I truly enjoy your write up in your column. For many who don’t know how to pray and for those who forget to pray sometimes it will guide them. As a catholic, the necessity of prayer is very important because it brings you closer to God. Here you communicate and dialogue with your God in the spirit.
    Like some of your writers wrote no man can succeed in life without being put to test by God.
    In away situation we find ourselves in life, God has a hand in it for a purpose. All we need do is to focus on God and believing and trusting in Him with faith; He will see us through.


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