That very intimate and special gift of yourself that you can offer for the good of someone else.
When I really need someone to pray for me, I will ask my priests. Not to say that I won’t be asking *everyone*, but I will specifically ask my priests to pray for me.
Why is this? I ask myself.
Perhaps it’s because I expect that they will “get it” more than the average person. That they will truly understand the gift of prayer and the import of this communication with our Lord. That they will not pray in a careless manner, but pour themselves into it sincerely.
Perhaps because of their ordination. That extra mark on their soul. That special conformity to Christ. The way a miracle happens in their hands (at least) once a day. Perhaps I have some expectation that because of this their prayers are heard (or at least heeded) louder than someone who is not a priest.
But, perhaps most of all, it is because of an image lodged in my mind. Of what they look like when they pray for me:
And of course, they do this for hours at a time. Wearing a man-shaped depression into the floor.
So, if you ever wonder why Father is busy, where his time goes, or why his back hurts … question answered. He’s been praying for me! (And probably you, too!)
Because a good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Or at least lays down. 😉