Every week, almost every day, prayer requests are sent to this website. What happens to them? They are posted for the community’s awareness on our bulletin board with the other prayer requests we receive. How are they posted? As discretely as possible to communicate your intention and respect the privacy and identity of all involved. In most cases the web identity of the individual making the request is posted; the email address never is. Nor is that address used for commercial purposes or any sort of mailing list. We want to respect your privacy and the sacredness of the prayer you request. What happens to your requests? We read them and gather them up as we pray our communal prayers in choir, at the sacrifice of the Mass, in our personal prayer and sacrifices throughout the day.
If you’re old enough and were raised Catholic, you’ll remember being taught that there were “four kinds of prayer”: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication. I was taught to remember this analysis of prayer (that’s what it really is) by memorizing the acronym, ACTS. Sometimes it seems that they were listed in an hierarchy. In actual fact, no one type is “better” than another. Any of them can become a gateway to contemplative prayer. It is not that the prayers of monks work better or that we are specialists when it comes to praying: we welcome your prayer requests because it is such a privilege to be involved in your needs and to join you approaching God. To pray, to supplicate for our needs is a way of realizing that we are limited and fallible; that we are not in control and face challenges bigger than we can handle. But it is also to acknowledge that God cares, God loves us even to the smallest, pettiest details that disrupt our equilibrium; even in the greatest, insurmountable obstacles. We realize that we are all God’s children and share a common ground; we are connected, even members of the Body of Christ. We also acknowledge that God can grace us to stretch our potential and, sometimes, do the impossible. What this sort of prayer says about who we are, who God is and who God is for us, can become inseparable from Adoration, and Contrition and Thanksgiving.