Survey respondents' daily concerns influence meditations offered online
Published: June 11, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- With people's lifestyles and concerns constantly changing, what's the state of prayer in modern life? The Society of the Holy Child Jesus, an international community of women religious founded in 1846, wanted to find out, so its members conducted a survey. And the results have helped them better understand the pressing concerns that influence people to seek comfort and guidance in prayer today -- and been incorporated into meditations the community has provided since 2010 on its blog, http://shcj.wordpress.com/category/monthly-meditations. The survey was emailed to everyone in the community's database and shared on its blog, Facebook fan page and Twitter feed. More than 400 people responded, ranging in age from 19 to 65 years and older. Sister Mary Anne Buckley, leader of the religious community's American province, told Catholic News Service, "The large response was very encouraging. We learned we were reaching an active audience, and we learned their concrete suggestions. Meditation is such a help in a busy world. We are distracted and the meditations are a way to focus in a way that is nourishing and strengthens the person," Sister Mary Anne told CNS in a telephone interview. The survey asked respondents to identify whether they were more concerned with personal issues or global issues. "We found prayer for many people started as a personal concern that was weighing heavily on their life," she said. Seventy percent of the respondents overall selected personal concerns. Of that group, 51 percent said family issues ranked highest among their most pressing issues, followed by finances (47 percent), job security (33 percent), and illness (36 percent) as their most pressing issues.
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