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Needed: 'essential pray-ers'

English Spanish Dolores Hanley McDiarmid Profile

Isaiah 26:20: “Go my people, enter your chambers, and close your doors behind you. Hide yourselves for a brief moment, until the wrath has passed.”

Are you becoming bored at home? Are you looking for something to give more meaning to your life during the pandemic? Why not become an "essential pray-er"?

Ever since the coronavirus entered our lives, we have been learning about the various ways in which “essential workers” are helping us to navigate this pandemic and hopefully avoid contracting this deadly virus.

Just as importantly, we need "essential pray-ers" to pray for the eviction of evil that has taken up residence in the bodies of many a soul — so that evil will be replaced with a converted heart filled with love for God and neighbor. Remember, there is power in our prayers!

Some of us continue to remain at home with little to no social contact. Some of us are retired, or furloughed, ill, or living with a disability that limits our activities and our socializing opportunities. Maybe some of us feel insignificant and are lacking purpose or direction as we navigate this “new normal” life has presented to us. What better role to play than to be an essential pray-er?

As I reflect on present times, I see how God is giving some of us an opportunity to do what Jesus, St. Ignatius of Loyola and other holy people did in their times. Jesus went up the mountain to be alone in prayer and was transfigured, and St. Ignatius of Loyola entered a cave and came out transformed.

We may not be able to go up a mountain or into a cave. However, we have our home, a room in our home, or a quiet, secluded place in our yard, where we can be alone and pray for all those in need of prayer. Then, when it is time, we can leave our homes and re-enter the community transformed into better persons.

Yes, I believe God is calling those of us who find ourselves at home for whatever reason, with not much to do, to be essential pray-ers. As Catholics, we have numerous traditions that we can take advantage of as we pray for others. Technology enables us to access a few of them that come to mind: Mass, eucharistic adoration, the rosary, and the chaplet of Divine Mercy. Since we are not working and expending needed energy, we can also fast or make little sacrifices.

If you have been feeling insignificant or feel like you are not playing a significant role helping during this pandemic, I pray you now see life differently. Just watch the news and you will find just some of the people who need our prayers. Remember, prayer can change the hearts of people and it can change the state of our world, our country, our families, and our faith communities.

As the 2020 school year gets underway, we also need to include in our prayers the school administrators, principals, teachers and parents who are trying to do what is best for everyone and help save lives at the same time. We also need to continue to pray for our healthcare workers, those battling the coronavirus, and those grieving the loss of loved ones.

I pray that during this pandemic, you will join me as an essential pray-er, while at the same time asking for the intercession of our Blessed Mother and all the saints.

We recently celebrated the feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord. We can also be transformed through our efforts as essential pray-ers. I believe God is calling each of us to grow closer to Him, to love Him more, to talk to Him more often and to trust Him with all our concerns. God loves us and He is with us, His essential pray-ers.

Dolores Hanley McDiarmid
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Comments from readers

Elizabeth Calero - 08/22/2020 05:50 PM
Please, let us know what we need to do. I'm ready.
HECTOR GONZALEZ - 08/17/2020 03:46 PM
Thank You for giving us some ways of being useful to others and to ourselves even we find us "cloistered", and isolated because the world of Pandemic. We can follow daily Mass at vatican.va from Rome with Pope Francis. And those who like French liturgy have KtoTv from Paris, and can follow the repairing of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. We can imagine now how it is the Carthusian life of contemplation, where silence, music and gardening help us to be alive. It is also time to invite lay Common Christian to start reading the Morning Prayers and the Evening Prayers at the Liturgy of the hours. The Breviary is not for clergy only but also for catholics with and inner hungriness of God.
Pat Solenski - 08/17/2020 01:19 PM
Thank your for your reflection and action plan! Prayer is so powerful!

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