You can always get a sense of the gravity of a situation in the Senate by the opening prayer that Dr. Barry Black, the chamber's chaplain, delivers. And Sunday, as the Senate and House returned to work in hopes of avoiding the fiscal cliff, was no exception.
"As we gather this weekend with so much work left undone, guide our lawmakers with you wisdom," Black prayed. "Show them the right thing to do and give them the courage to do it. Be their shelter in the midst of the storm, regardless of how high the waters rise. When they feel exhausted, remind them of the great sufficiency of your grace."
He added: "Look with favor on our nation and save us from self-inflicted wounds. We pray in your great name. Amen."