Monday, December 3

Hard and Soft Cases of Prayer Intentions

I almost don't want to write this post because it seems as though it could be taken as bragging or prideful, which is not the intent. But I'm going to wade into this subject anyway.

In conversations with a few different people, I've had more than one person be taken aback by the idea that I might commit a mortal sin, or that I'm not a good person. I've had friends and family comment that they don't worry so much about me, that I'm just not "like that" or that they can't imagine that I'd commit a mortal sin.

It makes me wonder something, though. If we pray for what we see as "hard cases" in our lives - family members who have fallen away or are very obviously in need of the prayer - but not for those loved ones who don't seem to need it - those who seem steeped in their faith and who don't seem to struggle - we are doing a disservice for the latter group.

I know it was meant as a compliment, but the idea that I am just not the kind of person to be tempted to mortal sin is just not true. Maybe it was a huge struggle for me to get to Mass yesterday. Maybe all I could think about for most of Mass was non-Jesus stuff - shopping, bills, cooking, the girls' schoolwork, cleaning the house... Maybe I have been struggling with actual prayer lately, not wanting to or not taking time to or just doing it half-heartedly. Maybe I'm struggling with thoughts of doubt popping into my head. Maybe I'm struggling with any number of things.

But if I put on a brave face and don't say anything, it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm not in need of prayer.

I have a friend of mine who seemed to have it all. She is a gracious woman, takes great comfort in her faith, and has become more and more steeped in the Church. A while back, she asked for us to pray for a special intention for her family. Nothing else. Sometimes I remembered, sometimes not.

When I discovered her intention was because she was having marital troubles - and did not want to disclose that for various reasons - I was absolutely floored. And I decided to never take for granted a person's intentions, no matter how benign it might seem.

Likewise, I hope that my own family and friends will remember that I need prayers, too. That I struggle, too. I really want and need prayers that my faith stays strong and that I can get back to my devotions that once gave me such comfort, but that I've fallen away from for one reason or another.

The fact is, even if a person seems to have it all together, they might not and they might really desperately need your prayers.

When you pray for your family and friends, send up heartfelt prayers for the "soft cases" in your circle, too. They might be a harder case than you think.

No comments:

Who are your heros?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin