Public prayer.(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Article excerpt

WE take it as part of our custom to pray at the start of every public event. After we sing the national anthem, in almost every public gathering we bow our heads in prayer, often listening to a version specifically composed for the occasion. It is a great way of reminding ourselves that the Almighty presides over every act we do, particularly every public act we gather together for.

In every institution, in almost every office or school, we celebrate anniversaries with public worship. A priest is invited to say Mass on at least one special day - be it foundation day or charter day - a year. And in many office buildings, a place is reserved for a small chapel, where occasional Masses during the week or at least during each month are celebrated. Somehow, religion is not separated from our work and study; indeed, the message has often been that it must be fully integrated into it, while being careful to respect the pluralism of religious beliefs in our secular society.

The basic principle of integrating the worship of God into our work and study, and especially into every public act or special anniversary, is well worth keeping and stressing. We do need to remind ourselves often that we have a common Father who cares about us and guides our destiny. And we have to go about our work and our study with a view of giving God glory, specifically by carrying out our duties with human excellence and in accord with Christian, ethical principles. We also acknowledge God's dominion over our affairs by asking for His blessing, thanking Him for favors, and pleading for His mercy due to our many failures and transgressions. …