Helloooo out there! I'm a little surprised we have had no comments on your stellar work praying. Perhaps you are all busy forming prayer circles. One can only hope.
Meanwhile, my minister friend invited me to visit her congregation. She was doing her own prayer circle about "Christian Oneness" and asked me to speak. Before I gave my little tour of Catholicism she asked me, in front of the congregation, what we could all do to achieve Christian oneness. "Convert to Catholicism. That would take care of it, " I said.
They may have bristled.
My little speech went well, though, and I introduced them to the concept of patron saints. Anyone who has read the blog for two seconds knows that I have a steady argument with the separated brethren about intercessory prayer. I started with the idea that asking someone in Heaven to pray for you is no different than asking someone on earth to pray for you and surely, your loved ones in Heaven still care for you.
I also told them that their dear loved ones are not angels in Heaven, although if they are in Heaven they are saints. But I digress.
It's seemed to get their attention, because I don't think anyone really wants to believe that someone who they loved dearly and who loved them has gone on their merry way in Heaven, never to give us on this mortal coil a second thought. What, are they busy playing canasta?
I also used our wonderful reader's suggestion of asking them to pray with us.
Talk about oneness!
In any case, it opened a dialogue about patron saints and the next thing I knew we were on a patron saint matching extravaganza. But that wasn't the best part.
The best part was that I had brought a big pile of the holy cards we send out with our medals from the shop (sans medals). Each card has the story of the saint (written by me) on the back. My minister friend explained that I had a holy card for everyone as a "parting gift".
I don't think anyone ever had such a long wait to get out of church in their lives. Each and every person leaving the chapel that day stopped and poured through my pile of cards (each in a lovely cellophane sleeve) to find the perfect saint for them. I had brought with me the patron saints for dog and cat lovers, bad boys, bad marriages, happy marriages, insanity, procrastination, back pain, couch potatoes...the one thing stupidly hadn't thought of, finances and jobs. Doh!
They were very excited to find just the right saint for them. I had enough that some people took two or three or four, some to give away. I know they left happy.
I certainly did.
When I was a little girl going to Catholic school, the old nuns always told us that it was okay for us to go to a non Catholic Church, should we be invited, but we were not to pray in there because, "God isn't there." I always found that especially confusing as they vehemently told us that "God is everywhere". I guess what they were trying to get across was the idea that either God doesn't want us in other churches or that He turns a deaf ear to non-Catholic prayer.
Or something. Whatever they were getting at didn't seem very well thought out, even to a child. At least, to this child.
I pleased to have brought the saints to bear. Perhaps it's the first step of many.
Although, at one point I had to explain Transubstantiation to them. They really weren't buying it.