I know that I would not be who I am without prayer. My mother tells the story that when I was born, they had to get the biggest guy in the hospital to push on her belly since I just didn’t want to come out! Or the time when pregnant when she and I got special prayers in the chapel of Rue de Bac Paris (where the miraculous medal was given to us by the Blessed Mother). I remember when my godmother was dying, saying to her that we’d have her out of purgatory in 2 weeks (which gave her great consolation…. after I said it I wondered ‘how will I accomplish that?!). And then after she passed, I credit her for praying twice as hard for me. After I was ordained, I offered my second Mass ever for my family, and the third for my godmother.
I believe that a special joy of heaven will be to know and see what prayer did for us, and what our prayers did for others. For now, things can seem discouraging at times. The effects of our prayers may seem subtle or even non-existent. But God is working his purposes out and collecting and dispensing the fruits of our prayer in due season.
And then I came across these quotes from The Dialogue of Catherine of Siena:
The sufferings you endure will, through the power of charity, suffice to win both atonement and reward for you and others…The stains of your foolishness will be blotted out, and I will no longer remember that you have ever offended me.
As for the others, because of your loving charity, I will pardon them in proportion to their receptiveness….They will come in this way to truly know and regret their sins, and so, because of my servants’ prayers they will receive the fruit of grace….They will receive both forgiveness and its gifts, unless their stubbornness is such that they despair….I look on them and give them light.
I rouse the dog of conscience within them. I make them sensitive to the perfume of virtue and give them delight in the fellowship of my servants. Sometimes I allow the world to show them its true colors….that they may know how inconstant it is and be more eager to seek their homeland in eternal life.
And so I contemplate with joy, just how much we really do depend on one another’s prayers. Don’t lose heart. Keep praying, and know that you will never regret a single prayer uttered.
Pax (et Bonum!),
Father John Mosimann