Seeking Guidance through Prayer in Washington D.C.
One of the great stories of U.S. History is the account of George Washington in prayer at Valley Forge. It was during a cold, long winter that our first President sought out God’s wisdom for the challenges he, his men, and our young country faced.
Fast forward to our nation’s Capital this week and we can find hope in some of the stories about our current generation of leaders joining in prayer as they begin their responsibilities guiding our country.
On Wednesday, January 5, 2011, Speaker John Boehner (R, OH-08) began his day at the 112th Congress Bipartisan Prayer Service at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill. The closing prayer chosen for the service was the Prayer of St. Francis.
Then, during his first remarks after being officially elected Speaker he said:
“In the Catholic faith, we enter into a season of service by having ashes marked on our foreheads. The ashes remind us that life in all its forms is fragile – our time on this Earth, fleeting. As the ashes are delivered, we hear those humbling words: ‘Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.’
“The American people have humbled us. They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is. They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them. That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully, knowing I am but its caretaker. After all, this is the people’s House. This is their Congress. It’s about them, not us. What they want is a government that is honest, accountable and responsive to their needs. A government that respects individual liberty, honors our heritage, and bows before the public it serves.”
Prior to being sworn in, Senator Marco Rubio (R, FL) joined with his family and close friends for morning Mass at a Washington D.C. parish.
Then word from some of our sources on Capitol Hill this morning (January 6, 2011) that Congressman Paul Ryan (R, WI-01), the new Chairman of the House Budget Committee, began his day by renewing his baptismal vows.
There are no doubt others in Congress spending time this week on bended knee. We should all find comfort in this fact.
By Matt Smith, Vice President of Catholic Advocate