Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Do Catholics have a "prayer line" or a "prayer chain"?

This question was posed to me the other day, a parishioner had come in to the office and wanted to know if we could advertise a "prayer line" or "prayer chain", she wasn't sure of the proper term. I thought about how I was going to phrase this and be tactful so I said, "well as Catholics we pray for one another in a communion of Saints, as Church, the term "prayer chain" is more a protestant thought". We began to discuss how we pray for one another and our prayers are joined with all the saints for the good of all the members of the Church. We have the ultimate prayer line.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it succinctly, "the communion of saints is the Church", (CCC 946). All the baptised members of the Church form the faithful body of the church with Christ as the head. We pray for one another always as Church because of that reason, we are one body. I remember when I was in R.C.I.A. and our catechist told us that in the prayers of the faithful when we pray for the Church we are all included at that moment in the prayers because that included all of us, as members of the one true body of Christ. I'll never forget how comforting that was to know. In every Mass said when the Church is prayed for I was being included. Pretty awesome!
The Catechism also reminds us that in intercession, that asking on behalf of another, is characteristic of a heart attuned to God's mercy. It is an expression of the communion of saints, we pray not only for our own interests but also for the interests of others, even those who mean us harm. This intercession is in full participation with the intercession of Christ. (CCC 2635).
As Church it is important to remember just that, we are Church. We look out for one another and we pray for one another. We pray to Mary, Our Mother and to the saints for intercession. These are our prayer lines, let's use them.

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