Do you know someone who has left the Church? Who do you ask to pray for your loved ones?
Sometimes St. Monica is invoked on behalf of children who have strayed from the faith. And she definitely can be a powerful intercessor.
But there is another intercessor we should never forget when we pray for friends and family who have left the Church: our Blessed Mother. And in September as we remember her birth, it’s a good time to remember that she is there to help us.
Here are some reasons why:
1. Mary is our loved ones’ mother: I once had a very strong prayer experience in which I was desperately pleading with Mary to intercede for some people I love very much who have left the Church. While in prayer, I felt the Blessed Mother turn to me with compassion and love and say:
You are concerned about your loved one because you love them very much.
But imagine how much I must love them.
I am their Mother.
The ones you love are always beneath my mantel and surrounded by my prayers.
What a beautiful image to carry with us: Mary, with her mantle around our loved ones!
2. Mary is the evangelizer par excellence: In my book, The Prodigal You Love: Inviting Loved Ones Back to the Church, I go back to the model of Mary frequently because she was the first evangelizer. Mary knows how to give Jesus to our loved ones because she gave him first to the world and we can learn from her. Mary can guide us as we navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of relating to loved ones who have rejected the faith or even God altogether. Her example can teach us how to reach out to our loved ones.
3. Mary lived in union with the Holy Spirit: In order to effectively reach our loved ones we have to disconnect from our own ideas, opinions, egos, anger, and stress and tap into the presence of the Holy Spirit living in us through our Baptism. The Holy Spirit can communicate with our loved ones more effectively than we ever could on our own. Mary can teach you how to get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit invite your loved ones back to the Church through you.
If you know anyone who has left the Church, this month of September would be a beautiful time to ask Mary to accompany them with her prayers and love.
Mary wants to accompany you as you journey with your loved ones. And please know that the Daughters of St. Paul also accompany you in your prayers for your loved ones.