The Holy Father’s prayer intentions for the month of September were for those with mental disabilities, “that they may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life”, and for service for the poor, “that Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.”
I’m particularly grateful for September’s prayer intentions. I believe Pope Francis’ call for change in the world’s treatment of the poor, and change in our political and economic systems that glorify wealth and create deep divisions between the rich and poor, is one of the most moving of his messages to the world. And especially since he practices what he preaches!
I’m also very moved by his prayers for those with mental disabilities, since my family has been particularly plagued with mental problems. Both my husband and I suffer from depression, and have to take medication to help fight it off. Both of my parents, and Jim’s father, all suffered from depression as well, and my father suffered from alcoholism for many years.
When I was in high school, my older sister became anorexic, and lost so much weight that she was around 60 pounds before she was hospitalized to receive treatment. (This was before Karen Carpenter died from anorexia, so nobody knew what on earth was going on with my sister or could figure out what to do for her.)
My mother had a mild form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) where she compulsively made lists with little grids and boxes and checked things off all the time, but at least it was fairly harmless. My younger two children also have OCD, and have to take medication for it.
Jim and I like to joke, “Mental illness doesn’t run in our family, it gallops!” 🙂
My oldest son has a most severe and scary mental problem, though: paranoid schizophrenia. For a few years after high school, we noticed he seemed to have problems, but hadn’t realized what it was till a friend, who also has a child with this disorder, listened to a description of his actions and gave us her opinion of what was troubling our son. Anyway, after a couple of stints in a prison/hospital (after threatening suicide), he’s now on medication, doing better, and hopefully will continue the upward trend.
Those with mental disability are always in my prayers, but I’m grateful that the Holy Father has been praying about this, because I believe that the prayers of the righteous are particularly efficacious. (That’s why we ask the saints for their prayers, right?)
Next month’s prayer intentions of His Holiness are for Peace (“That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence”) and for World Mission Day (“That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.”)
Please join the Holy Father in prayer!