Friday, May 15, 2009

The Kind of List I'd Rather Not Have to Make

I found myself starting a list of people to pray for. It's a list of people I don't know IRL*, just in URL. Some, I don't have to write down. I pray for them because I've included them for a long time. I don't know when I'll stop. I guess it never hurts to not stop, right?

Which reminds me of my interpretation of prayer based on my CCD classes as a kid. Every week, we'd go to catechism and learn what-have-you about Catholicism. (I'd say it was about the Bible or about Jesus, but it doesn't feel like that's what I learned about.)

Anyway, I got it into my head at the age of 6 or 7 that everyone was stuck in purgatory and they just needed to have a certain number of prayers said in their name to make it into heaven. I feared that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were just a handful of prayers away from crossing the threshold, so I included prayers for their souls every night for quite some time.

A few years ago, I related that story to my mom, Pete's Aunt Margaret and her friend Margaret. The next morning, my mom and Friend Margaret both mentioned that they had included the two in their prayers as well. Do you think that pushed them over the total number needed?

Back to the heartfelt prayers I do nowadays. Reading the entries of one of the forever-on-my-prayer-list the other day, I realize how much I hate the link to whatever my current post is. It was entitled "Collage of Fun." And I was reading someone without any such fun.

And I just need to recognize that somehow. Acknowledge it. I know that we can't live our lives feeling the deep despair of others. No one would want to live a life if we felt all the misery of the world all of the time. I only wish/hope/pray that my feeling despair for them whenever I think of them or say a prayer for them could relieve their suffering in some way.

Another prayer to add to my list, I guess.

*In Real Life.


susiej said...

Fascinating thoughtful post. I am not Catholic, and I have always been intrigued with the whole "point" system it seems to have. I have always wanted to start a prayer journal, just to keep track of everyone I forget to pray for; sometimes I hope that my intention to pray for them, coupled by my weakness to get sidetracked, counts. I just try to hold good thoughts for everyone all the time... constant prayer, active living prayer, sometimes is the best I can do.

cjm said...

I think Catholic kids should not learn about purgatory until they're older. I remember that concept messed me up for awhile, too. But I don't think that's the only way Catholicism has damaged me. Hello, Guilt.

D... said...

You & me both.

mayberry said...

I think it does help (as someone who's been on the receiving end).

I love the story about Ben and Abe, too!


I mentioned to Eldest the other night that I had a fairly wide open day Friday. Writer that he is, he wondered if I would perhaps like a wri...