Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who will serve as House Minority Leader come January, answers a few questions in the New York Times magazine. She says, among other things, that she spends a great deal of her time at Sunday Mass (she talks about her faith often) thinking of her parents, and a brief discussion of her prayer life:
"Do you think frequently of your father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., the former mayor of Baltimore?
My father died the year I was elected to Congress, 1987. I think about my parents all the time, especially on Sunday when I’m at Mass. My mother always said: “We do not pray to win elections. We pray for people’s health, we pray that God’s will be done, we pray that we do our best. But we do not pray to win elections.”
"Are you saying you have never prayed for an electoral victory?
Never. I only pray that I do my very best."
An interesting insight from one of the nation's most prominent Catholics. Would prayer for political victory be crass? What about prayer for the advancement of a political platform? Individual political issues? What is worthy of prayer, and who determines its value? Would praying for political victory be akin to the prayers of children, which can often be similar to asking Santa for various gifts? Private prayer is an incredibly personal exercise, and I'm not questioning Pelosi's views; in fact, they read to me as indicative of a mature and examined faith. It is interesting to hear what others ask in their prayers, especially someone as public and influential as Pelosi.
(Image: Pelosi welcomes Pope Benedict XVI to the United States in 2008/LA Times).