April 7, 2017

Prayer for Today - a reflection for World Health Day

World Health Day, annually on April 7, is a day when those in Catholic health care can ask God to help be instruments to improve the health of those in this world. It's a time to give thanks as well as to renew the resolve to answer the call to the question, "Who is my neighbor." 

To help mark this important day, the Catholic Health Association of the United States developed a reflection, which is below.

Bless the Lord, my soul; All my being, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, my soul; Do not forget all the gifts of God, Who pardons all your sins, Heals all your ills, Delivers your life from the pit, Surrounds you with love and compassion, Fills your days with good things.
– Psalm 103:1-5a

There is much to celebrate in the world of global health. Neonatal deaths have been cut in half since 1990. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV has substantially decreased. Polio and guinea worm are on the verge of elimination. But there is still much to be done. Drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis and malaria bring new threats to progress made with these diseases. Over 2 billion cases of diarrhea, the leading cause of childhood death, can be attributed to inadequate water and sanitation. Despite developing nations being on the cusp of solving many health issues, tobacco, road traffic accidents and climate change bring new threats. In the Catholic tradition we call this a both / and. There is both much cause for joy and there is need for continued resolve. Let us bring both to our prayer today.

For the many children, women, and men whose lives have been saved through global cooperation,
God, we praise You.

For the many who needlessly suffer around the world because of indifference or malice,
God, we beg Your blessing.

For the progress in people’s health made possible by technology and creativity,
God, we praise You.

For ways in which technology is misused or fails to benefit those in most need,
God, we beg Your blessing.

For the continued grace You pour into our world, struggling to do Your will,
God, we praise You.

As we labor to improve the health of those in this world, may our notes of petition always end in a song of praise. We ask this Christ our Lord.


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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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