I am often praying for my parish and then I wonder, why am I only praying for this parish? Don’t I want all of the parishes around me to be well? If they are doing better, then we will all do better right? (Or should I just trust that their pastors are praying for them?)
But on the one hand, I was made responsible for this particular group of people. It is my duty to look after them, pray for them, and make sure I do all I can to make their parish strong, vibrant, and healthy.
I know, I know . . . had to do a LOT of driving to do yesterday and had a lot of time to think. And this may sound silly - and I’m not worried - I was just wondering.
So take the case of seminarians. Do I pray for MY seminarian and the seminarians who are associated with me and the parish? Why not pray for all of the seminarians at our seminary? At least tangentially they will all have an effect in my life. But what about the rest of the nation that is hurting for priests - or the world for that matter? HA!
BUT THEN . . . what about the personal needs of the seminarians I know? That kind of gets lost in the soup of prayer for everybody.
So it was that a turn to the Mass was made. There are times for particular prayers and time for general prayers. “Let us pray” is not a signal for the Missal to come over. It is the time that the Church, those anointed priests at their baptism, to offer particular prayers.
“For Jimmy John and his bookworm infection.”
“For Austria and all nations suffering with bookworm infections.”
It is important to remember the particular and the personal:
“For Debbie’s soul”
And equally so for the general and shared humanity:
“and the souls of all the faithful departed.”